Boehner rejects the ‘knuckle-draggers’ in his midst


Occasionally, the far-right Republican base voices strong concerns about House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) being insufficiently radical. His comments on Fox News last night aren’t going to help.

For those who can’t watch clips online, Fox News’ Greta Van Susstren noted that Paul Ryan’s record isn’t exactly that of a fiscal hawk (a point Rachel explained last night in some detail). Asked how the right-wing vice presidential nominee can “explain” his votes in Congress, Boehner said of Ryan:

“I mean, I think that he’s a practical conservative. He’s got a very conservative voting record, but he’s not a knuckle-dragger, all right? He understood that TARP, while none of us wanted to do it, if we were going to save – save our economy, save the world economy, it had to happen. I wish we didn’t have to do it, either, but he understood that.”

So, by that estimation, does Boehner believe Republican critics of the Wall Street bailout should be characterized as “knuckle-draggers”?

As this relates to Paul Ryan, the guy clearly has to hope voters don’t give his record a close look. He voted to pass two massive tax breaks, two wars, Medicare expansion, and a Wall Street bailout and added every penny of the costs to the national debt. If Boehner wants to describe this as evidence of a “practical conservative,” good luck to him.

But for the Speaker to suggest that members of his own caucus are “knuckle-draggers” if they disagree is just asking for trouble.

John Boehner and Paul Ryan

Boehner rejects the 'knuckle-draggers' in his midst