Transcript: Rep. John Boehner Speaks to Diane Sawyer


JOHN BOEHNER: Well, we just really haven't spent much time together. You know? He -- he came and spent four years in the Senate. We didn't have a lot of contact -- with junior Senators. And -- when he was elected to the White House with big Democrat majorities in the House and Senate. And, you know, they tended to go their own way. There were a couple of perfunctory meetings along the way where he invited us down and asked for our ideas. But there really hasn't been the opportunity to spend -- any time together.

DIANE SAWYER: A Slurpee summit in the future? (LAUGH)

JOHN BOEHNER: I don't know about a Slurpee. How about a glass of merlot? (LAUGH)

DIANE SAWYER: And before we leave you, what do you want the American people to know that being Speaker of the House would mean to you?

JOHN BOEHNER: I'm a regular guy with a big job. And I didn't come to Washington because I wanted to be a congressman. I came here to do something. And I don't need to be the Speaker of the House because I need a big title. I'd like to be the Speaker of the House to do something. And that's very simple. I want to cut spending, create jobs -- repeal health care, and fix the institution of the Congress itself. The place is broken. And I've watched both parties contribute -- to the -- building up the scar tissue between the two parties, especially here in the House. And I want an opportunity to heal the House and restore the institution of the Congress -- for the American people. Because if we're serious about taking on the big challenges that face our country -- I think it's important that we have a healthy institution where parties really can work together. Where people can -- work together across -- the aisle. And it's not that -- I'm gonna violate my principles, I just think a more open process, a more accountable process -- here in the House would serve the interest of all members -- and represent the interest of all Americans.

DIANE SAWYER: What do you think history will say about the Pelosi four years?

JOHN BOEHNER: I think it's -- too early to -- to predict -- what it will say. Other than -- than the partisanship got worse not better.

DIANE SAWYER: Well, again, congressman, congratulations.

JOHN BOEHNER: Thank you.

DIANE SAWYER: It's -- it was history making.

JOHN BOEHNER: It was. It was a fun night. And I enjoyed it.

DIANE SAWYER: Anything personally you do to -- to commemorate it? 'Cause I know you don't feel it's for celebration, it's for getting to work. But to commemorate it?

JOHN BOEHNER: Maybe in January, when it all happens.

DIANE SAWYER: We keep reading in the paper that people are already campaigning. And the Tea Party has said, "We want a leadership post." Members have said. Will there be a Tea Party member in the leadership? And will Michelle -- is Michele Bachmann your choice to be in that fourth position?

JOHN BOEHNER: Well, we have a lot of people -- who've announced -- their intention to run for a leadership post. These decisions are made by all of the Republican members of our conference. And -- who -- who the members decide ought to be in their leadership -- is their decision. And I'm gonna respect that decision.

DIANE SAWYER: But because you are looking for cohesion -- is your instinct that it would be better to have a Tea Party member in the leadership?

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