Harry Reid on former House Speaker John Boehner: 'I did everything I could to cause him trouble' but we 'got a lot done'

Harry Reid on former House Speaker John Boehner: 'I did everything I could to cause him trouble' but we 'got a lot done'

April 11, 2021
  • Former Sen. Harry Reid on Saturday responded to his inclusion in John Boehner’s new memoir.
  • CNN host Jim Acosta made reference to an incident where Boehner cursed Reid out at the White House.
  • Reid recounted that he worked “well” with Boehner and called the former speaker “a great patriot.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

When former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada was asked on Saturday about a now-infamous confrontation with former GOP House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio at the White House in 2013, he seemed to express a sense of nostalgia.

During a CNN interview, host Jim Acosta made reference to Boehner’s new memoir, “On the House: A Washington Memoir,” where the former speaker recounted that Reid called the House a “dictatorship of the Speaker” during a challenging set of fiscal-cliff negotiations at the White House during then-President Barack Obama’s tenure.

In the memoir, Boehner expressed how infuriated he was with the comment.

“If I were a dictator, do you think I’d let all these members get away with screwing me over all the time?,” he wrote. “Hell no! And Reid, who was a ruthless bastard, knew exactly what I was doing.”

He continued: “So when I saw him at the White House the next day, talking quietly with Mitch McConnell before the meeting, I went over, got in Reid’s face, and said, ‘Do you even listen to all of the s— that comes out of your mouth?’  You can go f— yourself.”

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When asked for a response by Acosta, Reid said that he “got along well” with the former speaker.

“The deal is this — John Boehner and I got a lot done, but we didn’t mince words,” he said. “He was right. I did everything I could to cause him trouble because I knew he was having a lot of trouble. The more trouble he had in his caucus, the better it was for us, and he knew what I was doing, and I wasn’t at all surprised that he came to me and gave me one of his underhanded blessings.”

Reid, who served in the Senate from 1987 to 2017, also gave an interesting tidbit on why he always conducted business with Boehner in the former speaker’s office.

“We had a deal,” he said. “He would not come to my office. I would always go to his office. I didn’t want anybody smoking in my office, so all of our meetings were in his office. He could smoke to his heart’s content.”

He added: “I have a lot of respect for John Boehner. He, as far as I’m concerned, was a great patriot.”

Boehner’s memoir, where he criticizes leading Republican figures including former President Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, is set to be released on April 13.

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