In an interview with Dan Balz of the Washington Post, House Minority Leader John Boehner fired back at Democrats who have seized on the Republican's seeming comparison of the financial crisis to an "ant." (The Boehner-Balz interview was conducted a few hours before President Obama's speech drawing on Boehner's "ant" comment.)
"They're the ones who are out of touch with what the American people expect of Washington," he said of the administration. "The American people want us to deal with the economy and jobs. And what have they dealt with? They've dealt with health care. They've dealt with cap and trade. And then they've gone overboard with financial regulatory bill. Growing the size of government, taking more from the American people at a time when Americans want them to focus in on the economy.
Boehner said his reference to an ant "was not a judgment of the financial crisis. It was how to fix it. Clearly there were holes in our regulatory process and we could have fixed those holes but that's not what this bill does. This bill goes way beyond all of that and puts the federal government in a huge role in terms of how our whole financial system's going to work in the future. That's what I was talking about."
Boehner said he worries that the economy could undergo a double dip recession, saying he fears debt refinancing in Europe later this year could bring "more shocks to the system." But he firmly rejected the administration's course in dealing with the crisis.
"I'm not a Keynesian economist," he said. "I just think that all the spending that they've pumped out there has done virtually nothing."