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

House Speaker John Boehner appears exclusively on 'This Week' Sunday

ByABC News
March 15, 2013, 3:17 PM

WASHINGTON, March 17, 2013— -- SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER:Good to be with you, Martha.

MARTHA RADDATZ:It's great to have you here. I call it the so-called charm offensive because you don't seem particularly charmed. You wrote that outreach is always positive, but then you wrote you had heard it all before, saying it's going to take more than dinner dates and phone calls from the president. So, were those dinners and meetings a good thing, or did it make no difference at all?

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER:Well, it's always a good thing to-- engage in more conversation-- engage more members in the conversation that-- have not been involved up to this point. But when you get down the-- the-- the bottom line, if the president believes that we have to have more taxes from the American people, we're not gonna get very far.

If the president-- doesn't believe that the goal oughta be to balance the budget over the next ten years-- I don't-- not sure we're gonna get very far. And this is the whole issue. We have a spending problem here in Washington and it's time to solve the problem.

MARTHA RADDATZ:Well, when you talk about that he has to get beyond the Democratic dogma, but the Republicans have taken a very hard line as well.

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER:Hard line? The president-- you got $650 billion worth of tax hikes on January the 1st. When are we gonna deal with the spending problem? It's as simple as that.

MARTHA RADDATZ:Let's talk about your relationship with the president. Where's your trust level with the president? I mean, you're talking about these meetings as if they really didn't mean much.

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER:No. The president and I, as I have made very clear, have a very good relationship. We're open with each other. We're honest with each other. But we're tryin' to bridge some big differences. If balancing the budget-- were easy, if solving our long-term spending problem were easy, somebody over the last 20 years would've done it.

Now, Bill Clinton, President Clinton-- reached out to Republicans in the mid-'90s. We were able to come to an agreement on a plan that would balance the budget and it did. And it's part of his legacy. And I would hope the president would realize-- that this could be part of his legacy as well.

MARTHA RADDATZ:So, do you trust President Obama?



SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER:Absolutely. There's no issue there. We have a very, very-- good relationship. (NOISE) We have differences and we talked about our differences.

MARTHA RADDATZ:President Obama says these meetings are intended to find members of the common-sense caucus who he can make a deal with. Seems to be an effort to go around the leadership. So, are you not a member of the common-sense caucus?

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER:Well, I think-- most people would think that I'm part of the common-sense caucus. S-- we appreciate the outreach. We appreciate the engagement from the president. But it's gonna take more than this if we're serious about solving our problems.

MARTHA RADDATZ:Well, let-- let's move to those problems. The debt crisis, the budget. Listen to what President Obama told George Stephanopoulos about the debt this week.