“When I was looking for legislative strategy, the last place I looked was talk radio,” Boehner said, as quoted in the Naples Daily News. “The second last place I looked was the knucklehead caucus, who don’t know how to vote yes on anything. They did the president a total disservice.”
He has experience in shutdowns: In 2013, the right flank of his party, led by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, shut down the government over President Barack Obama’s 2011 health care law.
Boehner said Trump “has a different style than I do,” but praised him, saying “Donald Trump, in my view, by and large, has done the right things.”
He said Trump scored a victory with the 2017 tax bill, which cut corporate tax rates and nearly doubled the standard deduction. He praised Trump for not meddling too much in Congress’ work.
“He was smart enough to stay the hell out of the way,” Boehner said.
Similarly, he praised Trump for cracking down on China’s unfair trade practices, saying, “this is a fight that needs to happen.”
Still, he acknowledged Trump’s style was different than his.
“I always thought you caught more bees with honey than you do with vinegar,” he said.