“They need to focus on executive action given that they are facing a second term against a cult worthy of Jonestown in charge of one of the houses of Congress,” he said.
Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), reacted by calling Podesta a "class act."
"For those who’ve forgotten, a Democratic member of Congress was murdered in Jonestown and a current one, Rep. Jackie Speier, was shot five times during the same incident," he added in a statement. "If this is the attitude of the new White House, it’s hard to see how the president gets anything done again."
A spokesman for Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) declined to comment.
This isn't the first time White House aides upped their rhetoric when describing the other party in Congress. In September, a senior White House adviser compared House Republicans threatening to hold the debt limit hostage to "people with a bomb strapped to their chest."
Update: Podesta apologized on Wednesday morning.
In an old interview, my snark got in front of my judgment. I apologize to Speaker Boehner, whom I have always respected.— John Podesta (@johnpodesta) December 18, 2013