'This Week' Transcript: Speaker of the House John Boehner

Why balancing the budget, as an example-- would be good for American families. Lower interest payments. Continue-- pursuing-- the American dream. We've gotta do a better job of helping people understand-- what our principles are in terms that they deal with every day.

MARTHA RADDATZ: What-- what really went wrong here, specifically, when it comes to Congress? A new Washington Post ABC poll shows that 53% of Republicans disapprove of Congressional Republicans. So, talk about what went wrong.

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: Well, it's-- we're-- we're locked in a big struggle. America is as divided as it's ever been. And-- and-- and-- and we've got big issues that-- the country wants us to deal with and they're very hard to deal with. M-- and when things don't get accomplished, people get upset. I don't blame 'em.

MARTHA RADDATZ: There was a surprise this week. Senator Rob Portman, who is a close friend of yours, a conservative from Ohio, said he has had a change of heart about gay marriage. He will now support gay marriage after learning his own 21-year-old son Will is gay. Has Portman shared this with you?

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: He has, in fact-- called. Listen, Rob's a great friend and a long-time ally. And-- I appreciate that he's decided to change-- his views on this. But I believe that marriage is a union of-- of a man and a woman.

MARTHA RADDATZ: Can you imagine yourself in a situation where you reversed your decision, as Portman has, on gay marriage if a child of yours or someone you love told you they were gay?

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: Listen, I believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. All right. It's-- it's what I grew up with. It's what I believe. It's what my church teaches me. And-- I can't imagine that p-- position would ever change.

MARTHA RADDATZ: Will Portman said it was not a choice. So, how do you justify denying him a right to marriage?

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: Listen-- I think that Rob-- can make up his-- his own mind, take his own position. But I've made clear my position.

MARTHA RADDATZ: I wanna get quickly to a couple more topics. Gun legislation: Will you commit to have a vote on the House floor on any gun legislation the Senate is able to pass?

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: If they pass somethin', I've made clear that we will review it. In the meantime, our committees are continuing to have hearings-- trying to get to the bottom of what-- what can we do-- to help minimize these senseless crimes. I mean, listen, all of our hearts go out to the victims of these mass shootings. But we really need to understand what-- what is it that we truly can do to ensure that this doesn't happen?

MARTHA RADDATZ: Do you see any gun measures passing in the House?

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: We'll s-- we'll--

MARTHA RADDATZ: Background checks?

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: --we'll see what the Senate does-- we'll review it, and we're gonna continue-- to have our hearings and review this issue.

MARTHA RADDATZ: On immigration, will House Republicans ever go along with an immigration reform bill that includes-- that includes a pass to citizenship?

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: There's a bipartisan effort in the House and a bipartisan effort in the Senate. And I've done everything I can over the last several months to encourage-- these bipartisan discussions. This morning, I met-- with four Republicans who've been in conversations with-- senior Democrats for four years. And they're, frankly are-- essentially have an agreement.

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