Bob Woodward's Book: Boehner Accused Obama of ‘Presidential Tirade’

National Journal

A new book by journalist Bob Woodward examines last summer’s collapse of debt deal negotiations between President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner in detail, with the Speaker of the House accusing the president of engaging in a “presidential tirade.”

In Boehner’s telling in the book, "The Price of Politics," as related by ABC News, as a deal was close, Obama asked for additional taxes, and Boehner refused, setting the president off.

"He was spewing coals," Boehner tells Woodward, according to ABC, describing the scene as a borderline “presidential tirade.”

"He was pissed….” Boehner says. “He wasn't going to get a damn dime more out of me. He knew how far out on a limb I was.”

Obama’s camp disputes the characterization, saying that the president was raising the possibility of new taxes.

Obama admitted to Woodward: “I was pretty angry.” Woodward writes that Obama attempted to contact Boehner three times but the speaker did not respond for most of the day. The president added: "There's no doubt I thought it was profoundly irresponsible, at that stage, not to call me back immediately and let me know what was going on."

Others have taken a look at the book, including The Daily Beast, which notes that, according to the book, some were alienated by Obama’s “arrogance.”

“The president’s arrogance is described many times in the book as having a negative effect," Writes Miranda Green for the website. "Woodward writes of impromptu speeches that Obama would sometimes make over conference calls and which Congress members often muted, specifically naming House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.”

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