Speaker of the House John Boehner said this morning that he has a “cordial” relationship with President Obama, but that the men come from “two different planets.”
“We have a good relationship,” Boehner told a small group of reporters over breakfast. “We just come from two different planets.” He added: “We speak a different language.”
Boehner said he hasn’t even had a conversation with the president since December 23. Despite that, he says a top priority this year is to find a way to work with President Obama on creating jobs and reducing unemployment.
“While we have big differences in terms of the kind of policies that are good for the country, our job is to find common ground for the American people,” Boehner said.
But not only does Boehner rarely speak with the president, there is little trust between them. Describing his ill-fated talks last year with President Obama over a deficit-reduction deal, Boehner said, “It was like negotiating with someone who has never negotiated with anyone before.”
Boehner would not weigh in on the battle between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, but he said he didn’t not see any issue arising out of the 14 percent tax rate paid by Mitt Romney, noting that he paid everything he was required to pay and that President Obama’s tax return would also reflect different rates of taxation for income and capital gains.
As ABC News’ Jake Tapper reported earlier, Boehner said, “General Electric is more the face of a broken tax system.” General Electric paid no corporate income tax last year.
Boehner also had tough words for Democrats, saying they are “running on the politics of division and envy. To me, it is almost un-American.” He added: “John Kennedy said a rising tide lifts all boats.”
Regarding his often unruly Republican caucus, Boehner said he has reminded them that compromise is sometimes necessary.
“When they push for too much and vote no, they actually get less than if they had voted yes,” Boehner said, adding, “Voting with Nancy Pelosi is never a good idea.”
As for tonight’s state of the union address, Boehner said he has reminded all members of one rule: NO SAVING SEATS. In the past, some members have tried to leave coats or tape their names on the seats along the aisle so they can get a moment on national television as the president comes in the chamber. The only way to save a seat, Boehner said, is to be there in person — and only after the Capitol Police do their security sweep at 5:30 p.m.