Boehner On Bachmann’s Response: ‘I Had Other Obligations’


House Speaker John Boehner told reporters Wednesday morning that he did not watch Michele Bachmann’s Tuesday night response response to the State of the Union.

“No I did not,” Boehner said at his weekly press conference. “I had other obligations.”

Burn!House GOP leadership was not pleased when Bachmann decided to freelance, and in the days before the speech, Bachmann herself sought to recast the rebuttal, apparently hoping to reverse the impression that it was a Tea Party alternative to the official Republican response.

However, Boehner is not publicly discouraging members from responding to the State of the Union in any number of ways. “I think all members, House and Senate, Democrat and Republican, responded to the President’s speech last nights in a lot of different forms,” he said. The more the merrier.”

Presumably, though, he’s not suggesting more of this.


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at