The politics of ‘Go f@ck yourself’
House Speaker John Boehner reportedly had a colorful exchange with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the White House lobby last week.
“Go fuck yourself,” Boehner told Reid last Friday, pointing his finger at the majority leader, according to Politico.
Taken aback, Reid reportedly retorted: “What are you talking about?”
According to Politico, Boehner then graciously reiterated his point for Reid’s benefit: “Go fuck yourself.”
The alleged outburst occurred in the heat of intense negotiations over a fiscal cliff deal and Reid had accused the House of “being operated with a dictatorship of the speaker” earlier in the week.
Asked to confirm Boehner’s exchange with Reid, Boehner spokesman Michael Steel told The Daily Caller, “I’m afraid we’re not commenting on that.”
The office of the victim of Boehner’s reported “Go fuck yourself” attack did not return TheDC’s request for comment.
But whatever Boehner’s motivation for allegedly dropping the f-bomb on Reid, he’s hardly the only offender in recent political history. (RELATED: Will White House use ‘autopen’ again to sign ‘fiscal cliff’ bill?)
Appearing in the Senate for a photo session in 2004, then-Vice President Dick Cheney told Democratic Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy to “fuck yourself.”
Cheney, who was reportedly upset by Leahy’s criticism of Halliburton’s role in rebuilding Iraq, stood by his remarks to Leahy years later on Fox News Sunday.
“I thought he merited it at the time and we’ve since patched over that wound,” he told host Chris Wallace in 2008.
Arizona Sen. John McCain, always rumored to have a healthy temper, reportedly exploded at Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn in 2007 during negotiations over comprehensive immigration reform because he felt that McCain was “parachut[ing]” into the negotiations from the presidential campaign trail.
“Fuck you!” McCain reportedly remarked in tone above a normal talking voice. “I know more about this than anyone else in the room.”
2012 Washington State Republican Senate nominee Michael Baumgartner told a journalist to “go fuck yourself” in a follow up email to an interview after he was annoyed that the journalist asked him about Republican Missouri Senate candidate Tod Akin’s infamous “legitimate rape” comments and not ending the war in Afghanistan, a leading issue in Baumgartner’s campaign.
“Josh, this is Pat Feeks, a Navy SEAL killed last week in Afghanistan,” Baumgartner emailed the reporter. “Take a good look and then go fuck yourself.”
After his office issued a statement apologizing for his language, Baumgartner retracted his apology in a TV interview, saying the reporter “had it coming”
“Look, it’s a naughty word. It doesn’t amount to a whole lot,” he added.
Even in the mannerly world of political journalism, writers and editors have been known to employ the f-bomb on occasion.
For instance, in 2010, when now-Buzzfeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith erroneously reported in Politico that The Daily Caller was struggling, Daily Caller editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson did not take the report kindly.
“The Daily Caller is ‘struggling’?” Carlson wrote in an email to Smith. “What a ludicrous hack job, and stupid. Fuck you.”
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