Rep. John Boehner Says 'Partisanship Got Worse' Under Pelosi

GOP leader says Obama offered Republicans only "perfunctory meetings."

ByABC News
November 4, 2010, 12:30 PM

WASHINGTON Nov. 4, 2010 — -- Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner said today that one legacy of Democrat Nancy Pelosi's tenure as Speaker of the House is deeper discord and even less cooperation between the political parties.

"I think it's too early to predict what it [history] will say, other than the partisanship got worse, not better," Boehner said in an interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer.

Two days after Republicans reclaimed a House majority and set an end to Pelosi's historic run as the first woman speaker, Boehner suggested that he could be more effective in bridging the divide.

"The place is broken," Boehner said of the House. "I've watched both parties contribute to the building up the scar tissue... 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."

Watch Diane Sawyer's the exclusive interview with Rep. John Boehner tonight on "World News."

But history has shown that will be much easier said than done.

Pelosi made a similar pledge when she accepted the speaker's gavel in 2007, saying she would reach across the aisle to Boehner and Republicans.

"In this House, we may belong to different parties, but we serve one country," she said in her inaugural address. "My colleagues elected me to be Speaker of the House -- the entire House. Respectful of the vision of our Founders, the expectations of our people, and the great challenges that we face, we have an obligation to reach beyond partisanship to work for all Americans."

Four years later, many regard the bitter partisanship in political rhetoric and in the legislative process as unprecedented.