Answering questions Thursday morning about the lack of a Republican response to President Obama’s jobs speech, House Speaker John Boehner said the American people should not be forced to watch politicians — and most of them would rather see tackling than spinning.
“Listen, this is not a State of the Union address,” said Boehner during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol. ”The American people shouldn’t be forced to watch some politician they don’t want to listen to and frankly, most of them would rather watch a football game.”
“Now we have opened up Statuary Hall so that all of our members can respond individually, and I think it’s a more appropriate and respectful way to go forward.”
Boehner was also asked if he is okay with some of his members skipping the president’s speech.
“I have encouraged my colleagues to come tonight and to listen to the president. He is the President of the United States and I believe that all members ought to be here and do this. It doesn’t mean they’re going to. If you remember, I’m just the Speaker,” he told reporters.
“I’ve got 434 colleagues who have their own opinions and they’re entitled to them but as an institution, the president’s coming at our invitation. We ought to be respectful and we ought to welcome him.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has said that the Republicans should offer a formal rebuttal to President Obama’s speech.
“The Republicans’ refusal to respond to the president’s proposal on jobs is not only disrespectful to him, but to the American people,” Pelosi said.