Speaking to POLITICO this week, former GOP Speaker of the House John Boehner used some *colorful* language when describing some of his former colleagues in Congress, describing a few of them as “Nazis.”
In the lengthy article, Boehner talked frankly about politics in Washington, saying, “We’ve got some of the smartest people in America who serve in the Congress, and we’ve got some of the dumbest.”
“We have some of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet, and some that are Nazis,” he added.
In the piece, he commented in the deepening political divide in the U.S., saying that Trump is more a symptom than the cause, fueled by talk radio and Fox News on the right and MSNBC and social media on the left.
“People thought in ’09, ’10, ’11, that the country couldn’t be divided more. And you go back to Obama’s campaign in 2008, you know, he was talking about the divide and healing the country and all of that,” Boehner said. “And some would argue on the right that he did more to divide the country than to unite it. I kind of reject that notion. … It was modern-day media, and social media, that kept pushing people further right and further left. People started to figure out … they could choose where to get their news. And so what do people do? They choose places they agree with, reinforcing the divide.”
“I always liked Rush [Limbaugh],” he said. “When I went to Palm Beach I would always meet with Rush and we’d go play golf. But you know, who was that right-wing guy, [Mark] Levin? He went really crazy right and got a big audience, and he dragged [Sean] Hannity to the dark side. He dragged Rush to the dark side.”
“And these guys—I used to talk to them all the time,” Boehner continued. “And suddenly they’re beating the living sh*t out of me. … I had a conversation with Hannity, probably about the beginning of 2015. I called him and said, ‘Listen, you’re nuts.’ We had this really blunt conversation. Things were better for a few months, and then it got back to being the same-old, same-old. Because I wasn’t going to be a right-wing idiot.”
On the subject of Trump, Boehner rejected the notion that the President is an outright racist.
“I do not believe that he is a racist. I do not believe that he is a white supremacist. He has clearly done some things to lead people who never liked him to say those things about him.”
From The Independent:
But by labelling unnamed members of Congress “Nazis”, Mr Boehner invoked a spectre that has been haunting American politics this year.
White supremacists, some of them organized under the broad label of the “alt-right”, have been increasingly vocal and public in advancing their nationalist vision. Former White House adviser Stephen Bannon, who helped manage Mr Trump’s campaign and for months served as a top aide before stepping down, has returned to his role managing Breitbart News, which he once proclaimed a “platform for the alt-right”.
“It’s going to take an intervening event for Americans to realize that first, we are Americans,” Boehner told POLITICO. “Something cataclysmic.”
Featured image via Gage Skidmore