In his new memoir, On the House, chronicling his 40 years in public service, former Speaker of the House John Boehner does not mince words about his former colleagues.
He describes fellow Republicans who opposed President George W. Bush’s stimulus package as being from “Crazytown.” The Tea Party is labeled as the “chaos caucus.” And when he gets to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, he pronounces him “Lucifer in the flesh” and uses other words unfit to print in these pages.
As for President Joe Biden, whom he’s known for 30 years and with whom he shared the 2016 Laetare Medal from the University of Notre Dame, Boehner is equally succinct. In an interview with NCR, he assessed Biden as “a good man, a good Catholic and a good politician.”
Boehner, a former altar boy from Ohio who rose through the ranks of Republican politics, says he has no desire to get dragged into intra-ecclesial politics or criticizing Catholic bishops, so he refuses to weigh in on the debates over whether Biden should be denied Communion.
“I’m not going to get in the middle of that,” he says. Yet then he adds: “But being Catholic is more than about one issue. Let them say whatever they want to say. At the end of the day, Joe’s got to answer to the big guy just like we do.”
And just to be clear, Boehner remains unapologetic about his opposition to abortion, describing himself as “very pro-life,” and noting that he grew up with 11 siblings. At a time when the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for abortion, is losing support among some politicians, including Biden, he reiterates that it has “saved millions of millions of kids that wouldn’t be on our earth without it” and he believes efforts to get rid of Hyde will fail.
Check out the interview in the video below.