Transcript: Rep. John Boehner Speaks to Diane Sawyer


JOHN BOEHNER: Well, clearly, the -- the debt limit allow -- increasing the debt limit allows our government to meet its obligations. And I think that -- there are multiple options for how you deal with it. But -- for -- our team, I think we're gonna have to demonstrate -- that we've got to have reductions in spending. The government's spending more than what we bring in. We can't afford it.

DIANE SAWYER: But -- you would have to reduce by a trillion dollars to cover what the debt limit elevation would take care of?

JOHN BOEHNER: We're not quite sure when the -- when we're going to face -- this increase in the debt -- debt limit. But when we do -- we'll be ready to meet our obligations.

DIANE SAWYER: One more question about an issue which is health care, as we know. Our exit polling seemed to show that people were pretty divided, about 48 percent said they wanted repeal, about 47 percent said they either wanted it the way it is or even expanded. Is this a mandate to repeal?

JOHN BOEHNER: I don't know if I would call it a mandate -- but I believe -- that Obamacare will ruin the best health care system in the world. And I believe it'll bankrupt our country. And I believe many of my colleagues and new colleagues believe the same. As a result, we believe that it's important to repeal Obamacare and replace it with common sense --

DIANE SAWYER:How sure are you -- you'll get a repeal, a full out repeal of health care?

JOHN BOEHNER: I'm pretty confident -- that -- come next year, we will have the votes to repeal -- that bill. And to replace it with commonsense reforms to bring down the cost of health insurance and expand access.

DIANE SAWYER:I wanted to talk a little bit about your new members coming in. We've been hearing all the commentators say it's gonna be like herding unherdable -- unherdable stampede. It's going to be corralling people. It's really gonna be hard for you, they say, to get these new independent, many of them first time, many of them never worked in government before. To get these people on board.

JOHN BOEHNER: Listen, I heard my constituents -- during this election cycle. I know they heard their constituents. I was -- been in many of their districts. I've talked to their constituents. As long as we're listening to the American people, and abiding by the will of the American people and the Constitution -- I don't -- I think that brings people together, as opposed to dividing them.

DIANE SAWYER: But is it gonna be complicated? What -- what -- you -- you're a management expert. What's the managerial lesson for dealing with -- with what's going to arise?

JOHN BOEHNER: Growing up with 11 brothers and sisters. And working in my dad's bar. All the lessons I learned growing up are the lessons I need to do my job. He grew up in a big family. Have to learn to get along with each other. Learn to get things done together, get things done as a family. And you grow up around a bar like I did, mopping floors and doing dishes, waiting tables. Tendin' bar. You learn to deal with every character that walks in the door. Trust me, all the skills I learned growing up are the skills I need to do my job.

DIANE SAWYER: I have to ask you about Sarah Palin, because today she put out an ad which basically -- basically indicates that she, the party -- the people she endorsed are the ones to celebrate this victory. And I'm just gonna play short excerpts of it. In case you didn't see it.

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