Rep. John Boehner Says President Obama and Democrats in 'Denial'

Future House Speaker John Boehner suggests merlot rather than a slurpee summit.

ByABC News
November 4, 2010, 12:30 PM

Nov. 4, 2010 — -- Republican Rep. John Boehner, the likely next speaker of the House of Representatives, says he believes President Obama does not fully comprehend the meaning of the GOP landslide in the midterm elections.

"There seems to be some denial on the part of the president and other Democratic leaders of the message that was sent by the American people," Boehner said today in an interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer. "When you have the most historic election in over 60, 70 years, you would think the other party would understand that the American people have clearly repudiated the policies they've put forward in the last two years."

Obama told reporters at a press conference Wednesday the election results proved that people around the country are primarily frustrated with the state of the economy, not the administration's legislative achievements on the stimulus, health care overhaul or financial reform.

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

Republicans gained at least 60 House seats in Tuesday's midterm election, decisively knocking Democrats and current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from power and setting the stage for Boehner to assume one of government's most powerful leadership roles.

But the future speaker said he does not agree with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said today Republicans' number one priority should be making Obama a one-term president.

"That's Senator McConnell's statement and his opinion," Boehner said. "I think the American people want us to focus on their message during the election: stop the spending, get rid of the uncertainty. Let's get around to creating jobs again and staying focused on what the American people want us to focus on is my number one priority."

Boehner said today he harbors no "personal animosity" towards the president, whom he has not had many opportunities to get to know. He said he does not want philosophical differences to lead to gridlock or squabbling in their relationship.

Asked whether he would agree to what Obama has jokingly called a "slurpee summit," Boehner replied, "I don't know about a slurpee. How about a glass of merlot?"