The Slatest

Boehner Calls Conservative Hard-Liners “False Prophets”

House Speaker John Boehner
House Speaker John Boehner speaks to the media at the U.S. Capitol on May 21, 2015, in Washington, D.C.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Outgoing House Speaker John Boehner sat down for his first Sunday talk show interview since announcing his resignation and likened the most conservative elements of the GOP to “false prophets.” He also vowed that the House would approve a government funding bill this week to avoid a government shutdown.

“The Bible says beware of false prophets. And there are people out there spreading noise about how much can get done,” Boehner told CBS’ Face the Nation. “We have got groups here in town, members of the House and Senate here in town who whip people into a frenzy believing they can accomplish things that they know, they know are never going to happen.”

Boehner specifically cited the way in which members of his party touted the 2013 government shutdown as a way to get rid of Obamacare. “This plan never had a chance,” he said. When host (and Slate political columnist) John Dickerson asked whether Sen. Ted Cruz is “a false prophet,” Boehner refused to answer. “Listen, you can pick a lot of names out,” Boehner said. “I’ll let you choose them.”

The outgoing speaker pledged to try to “get as much finished as possible” before he steps down. “I don’t want to leave my successor a dirty barn,” Boehner said. “So I want to clean the barn up a little bit before the next person gets here.” And while Boehner answered with a clear “no” when asked whether there would be a government shutdown, he also said it will surely take Democratic votes in order to get a temporary funding extension approved. “I expect my Democrat colleagues want to keep the government open as much as I do,” he said.

At the end of the interview, Dickerson asked Boehner whether the “rumor” that he does yoga is true. “I do,” he said. “I’m not … as diligent about it lately as I used to over a year ago. But I do.”