House Speaker John Boehner was called out for lying about the White House’s position on the sequester during a Sunday morning interview on NBC’s Meet the Press.
While blaming President Barack Obama for the $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts that began taking effect on Friday, Speaker Boehner asserted that “even today, there’s no plan from Senate Democrats or the White House to replace the sequester.”
That claim was immediately challenged by host David Gregory, who pointed out that — whether Boehner approves of it or not — the White House deficit reduction plan definitely does exist.
“But Mr. Speaker, that’s just not true. They’ve made it very clear, as the President just did, that he has a plan that he’s put forward that involves entitlement cuts, that involves spending cuts, that you’ve made a choice, as have Republicans, to leave tax loopholes in place,” Gregory said.
“Well, David, that’s just nonsense,” a clearly peeved Boehner responded. “If he had a plan, why wouldn’t Senate Democrats go ahead and pass it?”
Video of the exchange is below, via NBC:
Speaker Boehner’s nod to the group that New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait has labeled “Obama plan birthers” is a transparent attempt to avoid political blame for the harsh cuts, which Boehner himself has acknowledged will be “devastating.”
The gambit is unlikely to work, however; recent polling suggests that voters overwhelmingly side with the president’s approach to deficit reduction over that of congressional Republicans.