Boehner memoir: Former House speaker doesn’t hold back in forthcoming book

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-West Chester Twp., speaks Monday morning at the helipad at West Chester Hospital about the hospital’s Level III Trauma Center status. The hospital just completed its second year as a Level III Trauma Center, but received verification as a Level III center earlier this year from the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma.
Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-West Chester Twp., speaks Monday morning at the helipad at West Chester Hospital about the hospital’s Level III Trauma Center status. The hospital just completed its second year as a Level III Trauma Center, but received verification as a Level III center earlier this year from the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma.

Credit: Michael D. Pitman

Credit: Michael D. Pitman

Former U.S. House speaker John Boehner has a lot to say about the state of affairs in Washington, D.C. and about his Republican Party.

Boehner, 71, of West Chester Twp., said he wasn’t interested in writing a “typical political memoir,” and his upcoming book ― “On the House: A White House Memoir” out Tuesday — “won’t be that kind of book.”

Former U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner will have his memoir, "On the House," released on April 13, 2021.
Former U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner will have his memoir, "On the House," released on April 13, 2021.

Credit: Provided

Credit: Provided

Boehner has sharp criticisms of his party, and he calls some lawmakers “reckless” and “crazy,” and he writes a few television and radio personalities reside in “Loonyville.” Excerpts of his memoir to be published by St. Martin’s Press have been released by media outlets, including Politico, the New York Times and CNN.

In the excerpts released to the New York Times, Boehner blasts former President Donald Trump, saying his “refusal to accept the result of the election not only cost Republicans the Senate but led to mob violence,” referring to the Jan. 6 insurrection in which Trump supporters rioted at the Capitol to stop the certification of electrical votes. “It was painful to watch,” Boehner wrote.

According to CNN, Boehner wrote, “I was out of office when Donald Trump was inaugurated as our nation’s 45th president. That was fine by me because I’m not sure I belonged to the Republican Party he created.”

Boehner wrote, as reported by Politico, that a turning point in the GOP came during the 2010 midterm election, when then-President Obama said the Democrats received a “shellacking.” That’s when the House regain the majority and led Boehner to the speakership in January 2011.

“You could be a total moron and get elected just by having an R next to your name — and that year, by the way, we did pick up a fair number in that category,” according to Boehner in Politico. He said many of the then-new freshman members of Congress “didn’t have brains that got in the way” because they had no interest in legislating.

“... they didn’t really want legislative victories. They wanted wedge issues and conspiracies and crusades,” Boehner wrote.

Boehner served a quarter-century in Congress, representing the 8th Congressional District from January 1991 to October 2015. He served as a trustee for then-Union Twp. (now known as West Chester Twp.) from 1982 to 1984. He was elected to the Ohio legislature in 1984 and served three terms. He was elected to the U.S. House in November 1990. He was House Minority Leader in 2007 and became Speaker in 2011.

Bohener wrote in Politico that many of the “crazies” in Congress were aided by well-known conservative personalities, like Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and the late Rush Limbaugh. He said those three, in particular, resided in “Loonyville.”

He said of political guests on Fox News, the outlet was “making people who used to be fringe characters into powerful media stars,” like former Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

Boehner wrote he also tried to squash the falsehoods about Obama’s birth certificate. He said he believes the 44th president was born in Hawaii, but there was severe backlash.

“... you would have thought I’d called Ronald Reagan a communist,” he wrote, according to Politico, and the grief he received ― which included emails, letters and phone calls ― went on for weeks.

He said the former president “didn’t help himself much either,” as Obama “could come off as lecturing and haughty.”

By 2013, Boehner wrote that the “chaos caucus” had grown more powerful “thanks to fawning right-wing media and outrage-driven fundraising cash.”

“Under the new rules of Crazytown, I may have been Speaker, but I didn’t hold all the power,” he wrote.

Boehner announced his resignation in September 2015, the day after Pope Francis spoke to a joint session of Congress. His last day in office was at the end of October 2015.