Obama Drills Boehner For "Ant" Comment

House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio gestures after addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen) AP

House Minority Leader John Boehner.
AP

As Hotsheet reported yesterday, Democrats quickly seized on comments by House Republican Leader John Boehner in an interview this week suggesting that that the financial reform compromise reached last Friday creates a bill that amounts to "killing an ant with a nuclear weapon."

Now President Obama is getting in on the action.

According to excerpts released by the White House in advance of the president's speech on the economy this afternoon in Wisconsin, Mr. Obama will criticize Republicans for opposing the Wall Street reform effort and Boehner specifically for his "ant" comparison.

"Just yesterday, I was stunned to hear the leader of the Republicans in the House say that financial reform was like using a nuclear weapon to target an ant," the president plans to say. "That's right. He compared the financial crisis to an ant. The same financial crisis that led to the loss of nearly eight million jobs. The same crisis that cost people their homes and their lives savings."

Continues Mr. Obama, according to the prepared remarks:

Well if the Republican leader is that out of touch with the struggles facing the American people, he should come here to Racine and ask people if they think the financial crisis was an ant. He should ask the men and women who've been out of work for months at a time. He should ask the Americans who send me letters every night that talk about how they're barely hanging on.

These Americans don't believe the financial crisis was an ant. They know that it's what led to the worst recession since the Great Depression. And they expect their leaders in Washington to do whatever it takes to make sure a crisis like this never happens again. The Republican leader might want to maintain a status quo on Wall Street. But we want to move America forward.

Boehner released a response to Mr. Obama's comments in which he said "The President should be focused on solving the problems of the American people...instead of my choice of metaphors."

"I wasn't minimizing the crisis America faced - I was pointing out that Washington Democrats have produced a bill that will actually kill more jobs and make the situation worse," he said. "It does nothing to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government mortgage companies that caused the housing and financial crisis by giving risky loans to people who couldn't possibly pay them back."

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.