Former Speaker of the House John Boehner suggests First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett are to blame for the failure of the “Grand Bargain” he sought to strike with President Obama in 2011.
“We had a deal and the president walked away from it,” Boehner said, repeating his version of how things fell apart. Details from the event have been previously reported, but Boehner’s explanation of the political fallout, made during his appearance at an event at Stanford University, was included in the full audio of the conversation.
When asked why the deal fell apart, Boehner suggested that Michelle Obama and Jarrett were responsible, describing the pair as the most powerful people in the White House.
“All those other people in the White House who think they are important, that doesn’t matter. Those two ladies matter, they weren’t in the room. I suspect that one or both of them decided what to do,” he said. “I don’t know that, but that’s my best guess.
Boehner said he had a deal with the White House ready to go. It would have raised taxes and cut government spending.
“He and his staff and I met for months over this,” Boehner said. “Apparently someone else didn’t much care for it.”