Boehner hits White House for ‘winning’ comment: ‘This isn’t some damn game’

October 4, 2013

House Speaker John Boener (R-Ohio) on Friday attacked the White House after an anonymous official told the Wall Street Journal that the administration was "winning" the shutdown debate and that it "doesn't really matter" how long the shutdown lasts.

"This isn't some damn game," an animated Boehner said. "The American people don't want their government shut down and neither do I. All we're asking for is to sit down and have a discussion and to bring fairness — reopen the government and bring fairness to the American people under Obamacare. It's as simple as that. But it all has to begin with a simple discussion."Here's the operative quote from WSJ:

Said a senior administration official: "We are winning. ... It doesn't really matter to us" how long the shutdown lasts "because what matters is the end result."

At the same news conference, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said the House will vote Saturday on a bill guaranteeing retroactive pay for federal workers who have been furloughed during the shutdown.

Boehner also suggested that reports of strain between him and Democratic leaders were overblown. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday said Boehner was "single-handedly" responsible for the shutdown and lacked the "courage" to stand up to his party — an unusually personal attack.

"I have very good relationships with all of my colleagues across the aisle; it's me," Boehner said, noting his reputation as an affable politician.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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Aaron Blake | October 4, 2013