House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday night he's concerned that a bipartisan healthcare meeting at the White House this month could be a "trap" for the GOP.

Boehner said he's skeptical to a degree about the purpose of a Feb. 25 meeting with President Barack Obama and congressional leaders in both parties to try and hammer out some bipartisan consensus on health reform. 

"I want to have this bipartisan conversation, but I want it to be productive and I want it to be real. I don't want to walk into some trap. I don't want to walk into some political event," Boehner said during an interview on Fox News. "I want to walk in and have a real conversation about what we can do to make our current system work better."

ADVERTISEMENT
Boehner said he's trying to figure out whether or not the event is a stunt, and said he wasn't even aware the meeting would be happening until an hour before Obama's Super Bowl Sunday interview announcing the summit had aired. The House's second-ranking Republican, Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.), said he was unaware of the meeting until he actually watched the interview when it aired.

There had been some thought that the Republicans, out of concern for the political optics of the meeting, might bow out, though both Boehner and Cantor emphasized in separate Fox News appearances that they would like to attend the meeting. 

"I don't want to walk into some set-up; I don't know who's going to be there," Boehner said. "I don't know how big the room's going to be. I don't know what the set-up is going to be."

Obama, during a news conference with reporters on Tuesday, declaimed any notion that the meeting would amount to "political theater" for the White House.

The minority leader said he has no idea who else would be invited to the meeting, but that he expected answers to his letter on the meeting to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel within the next few weeks to hammer out details of the meeting.