Speed Reads


John Boehner unloads on GOP 'terrorists' and backstabbers, Sean Hannity, and life after Washington

Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), 67, says the hardline conservatives in the House are "anarchists" and "legislative terrorists," drops a lot of F-bombs, smokes two packs a day, and irons everything from his shirts to his underwear. And that's just the beginning of what Politico's Tim Alberta found out about Boehner in 18 hours of interviews over the summer and fall. It's quite a read. Here are some highlights:

On Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a founder of the far-right House Freedom Caucus: "Jordan was a terrorist as a legislator going back to his days in the Ohio House and Senate. ... A terrorist. A legislative terrorist." (Jordan said he feels "sorry for the guy if he's that bitter.")

On former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas): "DeLay and I were never close. Matter of fact, half the stab wounds in my back are from him."

On why Republicans can't repeal ObamaCare: "Their gonads shriveled up when they learned this vote was for real."

On Sean Hannity, Fox News, and partisan media: "I always liked Rush [Limbaugh]. When I went to Palm Beach I would always meet with Rush and we'd go play golf. But you know, who was that right-wing guy, [Mark] Levin? He went really crazy right and got a big audience, and he dragged [Sean] Hannity to the dark side. He dragged Rush to the dark side. ... I had a conversation with Hannity, probably about the beginning of 2015. I called him and said, 'Listen, you're nuts.' ... I wasn't going to be a right-wing idiot."

On how historians will remember him: "They'll be talking about the end of the two-party system." There is still a Republican Party, Boehner said, after beginning to suggest otherwise, "but what does it even mean? Donald Trump's not a Republican. He's not a Democrat. He's a populist. He doesn't have an ideological bone in his body." Who is the leader of the party? "There is nobody."

Read the entire entertaining, instructive profile at Politico Magazine.