WASHINGTON (AP/The Huffington Post) -- House Speaker John Boehner describes himself as "a pretty simple guy" who sleeps well and doesn't get angry despite the frustrations of working with a Democratic president and his own often-recalcitrant Republican colleagues.
Boehner, answering questions after a speech on jobs at the Economic Club of Washington D.C., compared his youth, when he grew up with 11 siblings, to his current job. The "chaos," he said, "is the same thing I deal with every day." He also learned from working in his father's bar in Cincinnati that "you have to learn to deal with every jackass who walks through the door."
“I’m happy that I got the job,” Boehner said. “People ask me if I’m having fun. Hell no, I’m not having any fun! Somebody show me where the fun is! But, I am glad I’m there."
During the heigh of the debt ceiling crisis, Boehner described himself to NBC's Brian Williams as a "happy warrior."
In his speech on Thursday, Boehner also threw cold water on the prospect of passing President Obama's jobs plan, calling its mix of tax incentives and state-targeted spending a “poor substitute” for policies he views as more effective.
“Private-sector job creators of all sizes have been pummeled by decisions made in Washington. They’ve been slammed by uncertainty from the constant threat of new taxes, out-of-control spending, and unnecessary regulation from a government that is always micromanaging, meddling, and manipulating," said Boehner. “They’ve been hurt by a government that offers short-term gimmicks rather than fundamental reforms that will encourage long-term economic growth."
The Huffington Post's Sam Stein reports:
Coming a week to the day after Obama unveiled the American Jobs act to a joint session of Congress, Boehner's remarks are the most overtly critical lines of pushback yet from Republican leadership. Along with skepticism over the jobs package expressed by centrist Democrats, they raise questions about the White House's ability to pass its legislation through Congress intact.
The foreshadowing of political paralysis didn't end with Boehner's comments on the jobs plan. Elsewhere in his speech, he made clear that he wanted tax increases off the table when the congressional super committee tasked with finding $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction makes its recommendations.
"It's a very simple equation. Tax increases destroy jobs. And the Joint Committee is a jobs committee. Its mission is to reduce the deficit that is threatening job creation in our country," he declared.
That absolutism ran directly in contrast to Boehner's pitch, earlier in the speech, for "politicians of all stripes" to drop the “my way or the highway” approach. It was also a tougher line than the Speaker reportedly took when he himself was negotiating a deficit reduction deal with the president during the debt ceiling showdown.