Deirdre Shesgreen reports:
In a Thursday night appearance on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, House Speaker John Boehner conceded the government shutdown was a disaster for Republicans, hinted at his 2016 presidential preference, and swore he doesn’t visit tanning beds.
The West Chester Republican gave perhaps his most candid remarks yet on the government shutdown, saying he had tried repeatedly to talk his GOP troops out of waging that high-stakes fight over funding for the president’s health care law and acknowledging that he failed to persuade them otherwise.
“A leader without followers is simply a man taking a walk,” Boehner said of his decision to go along with the plan hatched by arch-conservatives in his conference. Boehner said he decided that “the sooner we got it over with, the better.”
Boehner insisted that his relationship with President Barack Obama is just peachy. “The president and I have a very good relationship,” he said. But he noted there is little room to compromise in the current political climate.
“There’s not as much common ground as their used to be,” he lamented. “The country’s gotten more partisan. The country’s gotten more divided.”