Ouch! President Obama’s inaugural speech clearly hit a raw nerve with House Speaker John Boehner. The Ohio Republican complained to a closed luncheon on Tuesday -- the day after Obama's address -- that the president’s goal is to “annihilate” Republicans and “shove us into the dustbin of history.”
A partial transcript of Boehner’s remarks, delivered during a closed luncheon sponsored by the Ripon Society, is posted here. The comments are the latest indication the Obama-Boehner relationship continues to head south -- an ominous sign for the ability of the two men to work together on the hefty legislative agenda the president is pushing, including immigration reform and efforts to settle a series of skirmishes on the budget. Late last month, Boehner took issue with Obama remarks in an NBC appearance regarding Republicans’ role in stalled fiscal cliff negotiations, responding “Americans elected President Obama to lead, not cast blame.”
At the luncheon, Boehner indicated he’s bracing for tougher times, saying of the inaugural speech, “given what we heard yesterday about the president’s vision for his second term, it’s pretty clear to me that he knows he can’t do any of that as long as the House is controlled by Republicans.”
“So we’re expecting over the next 22 months to be the focus of this administration as they attempt to annihilate the Republican Party. And let me just tell you, I do believe that is their goal – to just shove us into the dustbin of history,” said Boehner.
That's a far cry from the summer of 2011 that featured a golf outing for the two men and a chat at the White House over a glass of Merlot as they sought to find common ground on a grand bargain.