House Speaker John Boehner took aim at President Obama's budget proposal on Wednesday, asserting that he had "real doubts" about whether the two parties could come to an agreement on the budget, and taking aim Mr. Obama's efficacy as a leader.
"I've got real doubts whether we'll ever be able to come to an agreement with a Democrat-controlled Senate over a budget," Boehner said in an interview on Fox News.
"He wasn't elected to just sit there in the Oval Office, he was elected to lead," Boehner added, of the president. "And if he won't lead, we will."
Boehner argued that Democrats were "cheering" for a government shutdown - which would likely result if Congress failed to pass a Continuing Resolution to fund the government after the expiration of the current stopgap funding bill on March 4.
"The only people cheering for a government shutdown around here are Democrats, led by [Senate Democratic Leader] Harry Reid and [New York Senator] Chuck Schumer," Boehner said. "There's been no talk of shutting down the government on our side."
Boehner joined a chorus of Republicans in criticizing Obama's failure to take on entitlement reform in his budget proposal, and said the GOP-created House budget would include such cuts - particularly in Medicare and Social Security.
"I don't know how this is going to play out, other than we came here to cut spending and we're going to cut spending," Boehner said.
The speaker also pledged his support to the Tea Party, and said he "appreciates the energy they have brought to the electoral process."
"I feel just as strongly about spending and debt and Obamacare as any Tea Partier in America," he said.