Monday, February 14, 2011

John Boehner unable to distinguish truth, untruth

Via Paul Waldman, a Sunday transcript:

MR. GREGORY: As the speaker of the House, as a leader, do you not think it's your responsibility to stand up to that kind of ignorance?

SPEAKER BOEHNER: David, it's not my job to tell the American people what to think. Our job in Washington is to listen to the American people. Having said that, the state of Hawaii has said that he was born there. That's good enough for me. The president says he's a Christian. I accept him at his word.

MR. GREGORY: But isn't that a little bit fast and loose? I mean, you are the leader in Congress and you're not standing up to obvious facts and saying, "These are facts. If you don't believe that, it's nonsense."

SPEAKER BOEHNER: I just outlined the facts as I understand them. I believe that the president is a citizen. I believe the president is a Christian. I'll take him at his word. But, but...

MR. GREGORY: But that kind of ignorance about whether he's a Muslim doesn't concern you?

SPEAKER BOEHNER: Listen, the American people have the right to think what they want to think. I can't--it's not my job to tell them.



Ben said...

So your position is that it is Boehner's job to tell Americans what to think? Give the man a break. He has difficulty enough keeping his pledge on the federal budget, for goodness sake. Taking time to correct a fringe element of Americans would be enough to make a grown man cry.

Joel said...

Er... what's so difficult about saying: "I can't tell people what to think, but people who think this stuff are wrong?" Takes 15 seconds, since you're being asked about it on national TV. Why the hedging and hemming and hawing? A straight answer to a straight question isn't asking the speaker to become a national instructor in the truth.

KhabaLox said...

"Fringe element," Ben? 18% of Americans think he's Muslim, and 24% think he is not a citizen. Of course, 18% also believe the Sun revolves around the Earth.

But I can't be too surprised by Boehner's position. After all, almost half of the Republican's polled think Obama wasn't born in the US, and you'd have to be a pretty stupid politician to correct your own supporters opinions of reality.