House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) channeled his inner thespian Thursday at an event in his home district to lampoon Republicans who are skittish about taking on immigration reform.
Speaking at a Rotary Club meeting in Madison Township, Ohio, Boehner said he had been working for 16 or 17 months on immigration policy and “had every brick and bat and arrow” aimed at him for daring to address the issue, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“Here’s the attitude. Ohhhh. Don’t make me do this. Ohhhh. This is too hard,” the speaker said of his House GOP caucus.
“We get elected to make choices,” he added, as quoted by the Enquirer. “We get elected to solve problems and it’s remarkable to me how many of my colleagues just don’t want to … They’ll take the path of least resistance.”
The House GOP did unveil a set of principles for addressing immigration reform earlier this year. Soon after, however, Boehner and other House Republican leaders signaled that acting on reform would be impossible as long as the Obama administration continued to violate their “trust” and make changes to the national health care law.
Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck downplayed the speaker’s theatrics in an email to Roll Call: “As the speaker often says to his colleagues, you only tease the ones you love.”
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This post has been updated.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.