Boehner 'Absolutely' Trusts the President; Ryan's Budget Is a 'Vision'

The Atlantic Wire

House Speaker John Boehner appeared on ABC's This Week to gab with guest host Martha Raddatz about his relationship with the President, the state of the Republican party, and any other Sunday gossip they could think of. As much as Boehner appreciated the President's most recent efforts to reach out to Republicans, he said it won't do much to bridge any policy gaps between the White House and Republicans. "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," Boehner said. "But when you get down the bottom line, the president believes that we have to have more taxes from the American people, we're not gonna get very far." In other words: thank you for the dinner, but we're still doing to make your life miserable. "If the president doesn't believe that the goal ought to be to balance the budget over the next ten years - I don't - not sure we're gonna get very far," he continued. "And this is the whole issue. We have a spending problem here in Washington and it's time to solve the problem." Raddatz asked Boehner whether or not he trusted the President. "Absolutely," Boehner said. "The president and I, as I have made very clear, have a very good relationship," he explained. "We're open with each other. We're honest with each other. But we're trying to bridge some big differences." But enough about the President, yeesh. Everyone always wants to talk about him.

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They switched topics eventually to another hot-button issue of the day: the future of the Republican party. With the dust barely settled from the CPAC conference, Boehner fought against the idea something may be wrong with Republican party values. It's a communications issue, he contends. "The issue with our party is pretty simple. There's nothing wrong with the principles of our party," Boehner said, responding to Rand Paul calling Republican leadership "stale and moss-covered" at CPAC this week. Boehner argued Republicans needs to do a better job explaining in simple terms why their policies would help people. They need an Explainer-in-Chief, like how the Democrats have Bill Clinton. "Why balancing the budget, as an example, would be good for American families," Boehner said. "We've gotta do a better job of helping people understand what our principles are in terms that they deal with every day."

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They also touched on Rob Portman's recent coming out as a gay marriage supporter. Portman was the first Republican senator to do so. Boehner doesn't see his stance on the issue changing any time soon, if ever. "Rob's a great friend and a long-time ally. And I appreciate that he's decided to change his views on this. But I believe that marriage is a union of a man and a woman," Boehner told Raddatz. Portman apparently called Boehner to discuss his new stance. "Listen, I believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. It's what I grew up with. It's what I believe. It's what my church teaches me," Boehner said. "And I can't imagine that position would ever change."

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Paul Ryan still thinks his budget is a good idea. Ryan had to defend his budget during an appearance on CBS' Face the Nation on Sunday morning. According to Ryan, his budget that cuts Obamacare is "what people want." It's a "vision document," Ryan said. "It is what we think is the right way to go." Nation host Bob Scheiffer asked whether or not he trusts Obama -- the same way Boehner was asked the same thing on This Week. Ryan was nowhere near as definitive as the Speaker. "I subscribe to the Reagan school of thought, which is trust but verify," Ryan said. "The so-called charm offensive, I think it’s a good thing."

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Republican Sen. Bob Corker and Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin made some baby step progress towards economic reform during Fox News Sunday's panel discussion Sunday morning. Corker left the door open for a deal that may appeal both sides -- rather than shutting everything down like most usually do -- and earned praise from Durbin for being willing to negotiate. "I think there, by the way, is a chance on a deal. I know the president is saying the right things and we have an opportunity over the next four months," Corker said, before laying out what a successful deal might look like. "I think Republicans, if [Democrats] say true entitlement reform, would be glad to look at tax reform that generates additional revenues. And that doesn’t mean increasing rates, it means closing loopholes, and that also means arranging our tax system so that we have economic growth, and I think we have been saying that since day one," Corker said. Durbin thanked Corker for his "honest and constructive answer." "What Bob Corker just said from his side is a basis set of principles that both parties can rally around," Durbin said.

Corker also praised the Obama administration's decision to increase the number of missile interceptors along the country's west coast to address any growing concern over a North Korean attack on Fox News Sunday. But while Corker "applauds the efforts," he thinks more still needs to be done. "I do hope we’ll focus on a base on the eastern side with radar facilities, and I think the question is, Chris, how does the nondeployment of the fourth phase of our European base system affect us over time? So there’s some technical issues that we’re going to be getting into this week with the Pentagon and State Department," Corker said. Not that he thinks the country is in any real danger. "I don’t think that threat is imminent – I don’t think they have the delivery mechanisms that are necessary to really harm us. But I think it’s really good that we’re taking those precautionary measures to make sure they cannot do damage, I think it puts us in … a different place as it relates to negotiating with them and at the end of the day," Corker said.

Also on FNS, Durbin urged his fellow Senators to pass a continuing spending resolution this week so the government won't shut down after Easter weekend. If they don't then the next available opportunity won't be until after a scheduled two-week recess. Durbin said there were too many amendments added to the bill -- the number was almost at 100, he said -- that were threatening to slow the process down. Some weren't even related to budget issues. "This is all very important, I understand, but we have work to be done in just a short period of time. I urge my Senate colleagues: let’s be sparing in the amendments. Let’s get the CR passed," Durbin said. "We can do it; we can do it quickly this coming week." Durbin didn't go into specifics when asked if the Senate's resolution will clash with the House budget that preserved the sequester cuts. "We have put together a CR that is acceptable in its dollar terms to the House of Representatives," he said, "and I think we can agree on what that will be."

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus announced a new $10 million initiative as part of the Growth and Opportunity Project that will send "hundreds" of Republicans operatives to communities across the country during his appearance on Face the Nation. "Our party's had a real quality of context problem," Priebus said. "We have become a party that parachutes into communities four months before an election and while that’s how we’ve operated for years and years... in comparison to the other side, the Obama campaign lived in these communities for years. The relationships were deep." The Republican committee will send their workers to communities across the U.S., with a focus on minority communities, to help familiarize constituents with the party. The workers will be "a part of the community on an ongoing basis, paid for by the RNC to make the case for our party and our candidates," Priebus explained. The new initiative will hopefully help prevent things like Todd Akin's comments from ever happening again, or at least help the party recover from gaffes like that, Priebus said. "If you're not talking to people, and the level of familiarity isn’t there, then silly things like Todd Akin and some of the goofy things that were said ... there's no relationship to explain anything," he said. Priebus said the new project is "unprecedented, but it's something we had to do." He also said the Republican party has to shorten the turnaround time for churning out new candidates. He called for an earlier party convention, fewer primary debates and a shorter primary calendar in the next election. "I believe that our primary process was way too long, I think our calendar needs to be looked at, our debate calendar needs to be looked at," he said. He thinks the party should have the convention in June or July, instead of closer to the end of August, to allow the candidate to use party funds earlier. Romney was "a sitting duck for two months," Priebus said. His math was a little off for his debate suggestions, but he got the message across. "I don’t know, maybe seven or eight but not 23," he said. "That's ridiculous."

Karl Rove responded to shots fired at him from Sarah Palin during her Saturday CPAC appearance while the American Crossroads chief was on Fox News Sunday. "If she can play in primaries, other people can play in primaries," Rove said. Palin indirectly referenced Rove when she said "the architects" from Washington should stop vetting Republican candidates. "First of all, I live in Texas, I don’t live in Washington," Roce said Sunday. "Second of all, look, Sarah Palin should be agreeing with us. She didn’t support Todd Akin, and when he said the reprehensible things he said, she wisely came out and said he ought to get out of the race." Rove fired a shot back at Palin, though, saying he's a particularly terrible candidate -- "sort of a balding, fat guy" -- but that if he ever was in office he would never "leave office mid-term."

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