tv John Boehner Speaks at City Club of Cleveland CSPAN December 29, 2016 7:03pm-8:00pm EST
>> ladies and gentlemen, i would like to welcome you to the richard w and patricia are endowed form where today we have the great fortune of having speaker john boehner here to address us. [applause] my name is fred, and the global managing partner of squire patent u.s. lp. i'm going to share with you that i have proof paired extensive biographical information which the speaker more than warrants. as i was sitting here he looked at me and said fred, don't do that. so, i am going to give you the much a bridge version. there is a bio bio information on the pamphlet that is on your table. let me simply jump forward and say that when john boehner became the top republican later in the house for nearly one decade he eventually became the speaker at a time that was very
challenging, very difficult for our country. his laserlike focus on economic development, removing the impediments between business and government or the creation of jobs and focusing on the reduction of our debt were things that were priorities obviously for our country. it was his interpersonal skill set, his ability to reach across the aisle, to try to bridge the division both in the party as well as across the aisle that led to the success and leadership that we are very grateful to have had and we are looking for going forward. i like you to know that he has a special place in our firm. he joined us as a special advisor based upon his extensive experience.
is very happy to have him. the firm has been privileged to have him. the city club it's privileged to have him and america has been very privileged to have jumping or as our leader is the third most powerful person in our government for years. today he will share his comments on the future of our political systems in case there happens to be questions about that. ladies and gentlemen, i give you the retired speaker of the united states house of representatives, john boehner. [applause] >> where do i begin? a big thanks fred for your short introduction. i think you did a very nice job without getting too carried away. let me think the city club for the opportunity to be with all
of you today. i especially want to thanks dick has been a longtime friend and supporter. i did not know this is the lunch in your hosting, but but thank you for having me here. i before i became speaker there is an economic speech were called on the president economic team, they savaged me afterwards , but i think i was right. but six years later no longer speaker of the house after spending 25 years in congress. as i told the students at notre dame, they gave it vice president biden and i and award. a told the students what tori is
a latin word. in english it means rejoice, exactly what i have done every day since i left. people stop me and think i'm gonna go into the government as a cabdriver i'm no expert on politics, i have not even taken a political science class. on top of top of that i'm some of a bartender, what do i know about that but those of you don't know about me a crip in cincinnati, i have eight brothers and three sisters and my dad owned a bar. bar. i tell people there's a lot of lessons i learned growing up that were lessons that help me do my job, i grew up in a big family and learn to get along
with each other and get things done as a family. he graph in a bar you learn a couple lessons there. one is the art of disagree without being disagreeable. probably something that help me in my career you don't have to put up with them all night long. we did dishes if you have to learn to work with every jackass that walks in the door. trust me me i needed all the skills i never thought my wildest dreams of getting involved in politics but, i worked my way through
xavier university and by myself in a small business that i bought it. i grit into a successful business. along the way got involved in my neighborhood homeowners association and ended up a speaker of the house. [laughter] this to happen to you. honestly, i never in my wildest stream thought i would do do anything like this. i was made to do what i needed to do threat my career. i'm very happy about it. what a political career i want to congratulate you on the air you had in a long time when lebron james is criminal there's an announcement that the rnc but
the nba championship and then hosting the finest convention everyone i talked to around the country that i had been here could not have been here with nicer things about cleveland. how safe it was a none of that nonsense that people talked about none of it ever really happen. so congratulations on a good year. and i'm sure donald trump will be have because he had a good year as well. but something's going on around the road, it's not just here in the united states for a guy named bernie sanders a man who is elected for the first time in 1990. i was a was a socialist from vermont came to washington, . .
there is. if you look around very slow economic growth and and as a result of metal result -- middle-class and standard of living there is a lot of frustration that they would like to be doing quite a job migration from our society. it disappears. after eight years of deep in come sliding in standard of living sliding you can imagine not just here but elsewhere as well. look at how the media has changed.
a couple of decades ago one radio show host and one cable news channel that just did news and internet boldly a couple of geeks were using it. now with the talk-show host looking at the cable news channels with 24 hours a day. the internet to allow people to talk to each other to organize themselves with the platform they have never had before facebook and twitter and all for long list that spew information. and if you think about it we never would have known about
the police man being shot in dallas texas 30 years ago. because it never would have been in our papers are on the national news some now we know everything that happens in america but around the world everyday. if you look at disinformation coming at all of us you realize people get 100 artur hundred more times information about their government than they have forgotten more than 20 years ago. that is what makes it crazier is people can choose where they want to get their news. we used to have three networks, five newspapers and a couple big radio stations and they said the news for the day. now all this information comes that you and people can choose. some people go to fox news i have early 30 year-old to said where do you get your
news? comedy central. [laughter] that should scare people. but we have all this information to allow people to organize themselves. but we'll leave have a few members of the of reservation but they never had a platform but today they can create their own platform and grow their own movement much like donald trump wanted to create his own movement or bernie sanders. but makes it even more difficult is the speed at which they get news today. is instantaneous. i remember a time with pat
sitting over there thankfully you are no more uglier than you were then. [laughter] but back then we could work something out or cut a deal it would be the day or two before would end up in the press. but now i remember i would meet with president obama and organizes the latest speech in the white house because of i walked into the white house like i would normally do the right wing would just go crazy. you could imagine. oh my god he will roll him. and now there is no room. so if you add this together you can begin to understand
we're in the midst of a political revolution and trying to govern is next to impossible. that will make it more difficult in the coming days for people in public service to govern and to -- even though we have a big election this year as well. back in the spring and on both sides it is pretty clear to me hillary would be the democratic nominee i told donald trump i would vote for you but you were not mike first choice source second choice for a third choice. [laughter] but i will vote for you because you are the nominee.
if anybody doesn't think that donald trump can win you are wrong. he can win. with that of course, . i predict that he will win ohio. if you look at the demographics of ohio the top third of the state are largely the largest democratic areas in the state. but if you look at the people he was appealing to, right here in the top one-third of ohio. and all of the rest of the union people and then when the republicans started to
come back and then but remember polls don't decide elections the voters do. and if they can model who will show up and i used an example. my first race for congress with the incumbent republican and in a primary. and it is hard to vote for somebody when they cannot say your name. [laughter] i am in a race against the incumbent that the former member his name is kundness
-- kindness i never had any poll that said i was less than 80 points but people would not normally vote in the republican primary. the neighbors who were independents i won by 5,000 votes. nobody was more surprised. i and the eternal optimist. no way she could lose. but once again and tune the enthusiasm gap. and the trump lead the woeful. even through the spring but turnout of republican primaries rupp 40% for the
democratic primaries was down 20%. it should not surprise people that he did have a chance. he won. now what? does something has happened in washington over the last seven years that it is almost impossible for me to do deal. coming to an agreement with of president with the right interest of the american people. they would have their pitchforks out for me and of president because we could come to an agreement once in awhile. i just think it is wrong. and now writing a book called the art of the deal.
now they would ask what advice would you give each of these candidates? i said the same advice. presidents don't have much power to do things on their own. if he wants big things he has to work with the other side and work with congress to change the law to do that you have to have honest relationships with the leaders in the congress. if you do that there are some big things that could have been when i became the speaker a federalism portend to have good relationships with my colleagues and the president we have butted heads a few times. but we have learned to get along with each other not
that we always agreed because our job was not to agree but what can we agree on? or to compromise my principles. and elected the republican conference and what would define the common ground. so finding a way to cut any deal is critically important to be successful in america. i think he has the ability to do that. is kind of a republican and kind of a democrat. and to cut the right deals.
a i am a senate committee of 535 people accomplish anything? except those that expect great things that of their congress this is why they're lucky to other in the eye and trust each other to get things done. when i announced i would retire i had more than a few phone calls but the first came from a dear friend george w. bush i cannot tell you what he said. but he said boehner behalf to get this done. do something about the debt linda and we need a budget. finally he says boehner, i will miss you price said mr. president, yes you are. we knew each other and we understood each other. we could talk to each other
for yes we have lots of disagreements but those lessons that i learned the art of being able to disagree without being disagreeable. there are people like a used to have to work with nancy pelosi and you can read about these people but the years i spent in washington and i will save 95 or 90 percent of the people that i work with obol sides are decent and honest people fighting for what they thought was right for their constituents. just because you are a democrat or republican doesn't mean that you shed excoriate you because of your views.
sitting president has an opportunity. so that will be hot on the agenda. immigration reform will not go away. infrastructure is one of the first things we have no way to pay for it. if all the infrastructure is paid for all cars are getting more miles to the gallon and we need to find a new source of funding but in the meantime dealing with 2. $5 trillion that will not not, back here because of the excessively high corporate tax rates, if that
money will flow back here to fix the system so we don't have to deal with it long term and then the economic analysis of $500 billion of new revenues then use that money to fund long-term infrastructure that is a great way to be started and with bipartisan support. but donald trump sees himself as larger than life as you might imagine and that reminds me looking at teddy roosevelt. he was a lot like donald trump. but teddy roosevelt wanted to do big things they and he did. i think there is an
opportunity with this new political order to do big things that only gets done on a bipartisan basis. in 2011 when i became speaker to look at the big things with both parties and fingerprints were on the deal. it will be an exciting year. if you thought the past year was exciting just watch what will happen next 12 months. we live in the greatest country in the world that there is no benefits on what you can accomplish the only country to be the son of a bartender to beat the speaker of the house. god bless you. [applause]
>> mr. speaker we have of friday for of the 53rd speaker of the united states house of representatives. we are about to begin the keel and a session with the audience and the welcome questions on it every one. net you are joining us through the radio broadcast if he would like to tweet a question please tweed at the city club we will try to work it into the program if you are on the allied stream . questions should be brief and to the point and no statements please.
me we have the first question please. >> speaker boehner a question that was prominent is the issue of trade. because of trade arrangements and those that have prospered have reduced the debt issue? >> it is difficult to renegotiate a trade agreement it is very difficult to do now is 20 years old and is probably for those countries to take another look personally i am on the other side and trade has been very good. there are job dislocations when you have trade but on the law or in my view it is
very beneficial to its united states and two ohio that does not mean they should not be reviewed from time to time. that enforcement of these trade vases critically important i am not sure we have used the resources to enforce the trade laws we have already agreed to that partnership is overdone one year ago in my view because there are four or five provisions decided at the end of the negotiation for the trans pacific partnership deal so this conversation is at a standstill but the u.s. great britain trade
agreement while they're exiting the european union they will have to make their own trade agreements i think the discussion between the free trade agreement would be in our country's best interest and be very helpful to the rich as they negotiate their exit from the european union. >> good tab you here today 19.$6 trillion debt, what about the new president and secretary of treasury and if they came to asking for your recommendation how we finally end effectively
address these? >> we have spent more than we have brought in 60 out of 65 years. we have spent more than what we have brought in 60 of the last 65 years for you cannot do this at home or business and your government cannot do it either. the president and i were on the verge of the grand bargain july 2011 panicked and we shook hands on the debt reduction deal of over $5 trillion. but over 25 years it could defend the 20 or $25 trillion range because of the changes we were talking about and frankly my greatest disappointment is when that deal fell apart.
they are living longer than ever expected more social security more medicare and more medicaid and they are not sustainable in their current form. we're not talking about massive changes but programs that our important to the american people but until that happens frankly there is no chance you will reverse the deficit spending week continued to do. second you will never solve the problem without economic growth to allow better jobs to be created along the american people to earn more view don't have economic
growth then you cannot get there. with the balanced budget deal with president clinton five straight years surplus what happened? spending only grew at inflation. revenue was growing above the rate of inflation with more income coming in holding the line on spending you can do it but it will be tough to do. even the most conservative talk about balancing the budget late-- son parched
sidewalk. >> industrial remarkable act of diplomacy there was the memorable situation where the campaign nominee that to upon the back-and-forth conversation that he needed to repair the relationship and how? >> we will forget that. [laughter] >> [applause] i have to tell you that you can guess i grew up catholic grade school, high-school
school, high-school, univ. i get to congress the world leaders address the joint session so in 1995 we have the new poll by sen and a letter as the j. year member with a brand new majority. then the next pope comes along so when paul francis was elevated the the archbishop of washington was trying to convince them to come to the united states peace that i have a letter from your parliament. [laughter] i am somewhat intrigued.
then he is involved in helping kids with an education. said he looks at the cardinal said he runs out of the room and and says you cannot tell anybody but tom. so enter without my daughter tells me she will have a first grandchild. the cardinal tries to get the pope to bear -- baptized my grandson when he is here. but the vatican has a 2,000 bureaucracy over the united states they are really good at this. [laughter]
sell after much conversation that he would be happy to bless him but they don't want to baptize him. so then the pope comes it is no big deal every camera in the world in my office i agree tim bank at the media at of the room and it is the cardinal and the pope or a look that might chief of staff. i said wait. [laughter] i have a nice meeting but did begins to break up but my family is in the adjoining room so he turns to his assistant and says get me a glass of water. really? i watched him go get a glass of water he takes in his right hand and put in his left hand i am waiting for
him to bless it and he took a drink laugh laugh the greatest head fake you have ever seen in your life. i was absolutely convinced he would baptize them right then and there. but to have him there i would say the most memorable experience i have never seen members of the house or senate more excited to have somebody at the capitol and the pope. i have a lot of pope stories the lot of things happened that day but and then i decided i would retire. >> mr. speaker you are
gracious in your description of your dealings with of president with of budget bill and the deal and 2011 net fell apart that was an interesting expos say that got into the inner workings of the back and forth. but to put aside the substance and was fascinating how the deal fell apart with a classic rules of negotiating keeping it to yourself until you were done view seemed beyond frustrated so was it is the benefit or is there a lesson to be learned what. >> frustrated is not begin to describe the ldl. i had spent six months with the president trying to work
through this with these numbers. my a staff came to me july 2014 and that we down and said you are about to risk your job if you continue having this conversation. i said if i can get the deal done and begin of process to get america back on a sound foundation so be it. and writing a book about this that 98 percent in my view all the facts word there but in my world the
few shaking hands and cut a deal it is the deal. i have to tell you i implored win the president decided to walk away. i don't think he was well served by his own staff. i will say it that way. >> is something hillary clinton could have done to change the election? >> i don't think so. donald trump ran against 16 people and the republican primary. 12413 were really dead opponents -- a good opponents laugh laugh but he ran away with ann and to
have a better understanding of what was going through the minds of the american people and the majority of the american people. bernie sanders he created a movement for god's sakes. he was no closer than understanding that frustration. >> un did by talking about how great america is yet we have the president elect talking about how great america is not and promising things that may not be able to be done so how accountable will he be whether congress or a the media who will will then accountable? >> this is donald trump so
the president-elect the immediate will probably point out when he changes his mind but his voters don't care. that is the amazing part so when it comes to the trump in ministrations don't listen to all the new ways just watch what gets done. i tell people they're not telling you the right thing. just watch what they do that is what matters and i will
tell you right now he will surprise you and other americans it doesn't take long to be in politics to realize to have people upset or angry with you so my guess is what will move quickly to calm their nerves the in the grand best friend is what? next question please? [laughter] >> some of us will be first-time voters going to college had remake college affordable wet cement congress cannot make college
more affordable because they don't control of prices i wouldn't even know where to begin by right now 1.2 trillion dollars worth of student loan debt ideas sought a report this morning from the gao that will lose 208 billion of that cannot be repaid. so something has to happen for what is already out there so i think colleges in response abilities in terms of what a charge and what
you will see long term is the on-line schools better doing a very good job without the brick and mortar and expense that is going around already bad and now there's a lot that congress can do i know politicians will say that but i am telling. >> we appreciate your remarks today but with those minor political parties is that more a reflection from the of parties or going for word that the democrats and republicans offered where
the of minor parties offer a different set of views? >> day get of protest votes. if they were upset with both candidates those numbers were high. then the numbers continued to dwindle. we are fortunate to have a two-party system. look at europe. not one political party could never get a majority so they have to compromise with another party by the time they come to the agreement they believe in nothing and do nothing. so we are fortunate essentially be have a
two-party system. i can go through the division's of the republican party but it works better here than anywhere else. but with any decline in the two-party system as well as it is open and transparent. not any time soon. >> i like your hair cut. >> i like yours also. [laughter] [applause] there is a lot of pressure that came with your job right. >> know i gave up the pressure 20 years ago.
it does nothing for you except kill you. i decided i would not do it anymore. there was more pressure standing appear today than i have had in the last five years i have not done these for a while. but it is not a good. i used to watch my colleagues of the of leadership and my staff runaround with their heads cut off like chickens but it was easier for me to sit there. >> talk about the albright within the republican party and the ec for the future and the cabinet that the
president elect electing. >> i am not referring to when you say alt-right. >> like the supremacist. >> i am not sure they are part of our party. but i that you were talking about some of the knucklehead that used to work with. [laughter] i better stop myself right there. the second question? the cabinet. so far the president-elect has made good choices. and they will continue. we will not see anything like this but for the you
will see him stick more to of teleprompter and the choice he is making there is the reason why the e and picking people that he thinks can carry out the administration he will have. he will do big things. [laughter] >> is a retired politician if there is something you could do over in your political career what would it be? >> i don't have one regret
we had some tough roads but 20 years from now nobody will care how i voted other than me. so i made a commitment and never violated my entire 25 years that i would vote in such a way that i believe that my constituents is right for my country but there is not one part i would never do offer i could have won this when you're that way by finding made the decision the 5410 was the maximum the looking back that is one of the best decisions so to look myself
in the near to do what i thought was right or to help you get more votes and frankly there is enough of that today in doing the right things for the right reasons. >> how are you doing speaker boehner but. >> good. >> the 113 and 14 congress the most polarized that i can remember what did you do personally to work with people and what about congress with that polarization affecting the country quite. >> yes things were polarize so finding common ground was
important but second when i did try to find common ground to not cut any deal with the president. but that is what people thought. so one of the great guinness's we have donald trump the democratic senator from youngstown and then he says all of these people in my district now i am being kind but they don't want to do anything.