Outgoing Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerFreedom Caucus leader: Despite changes, healthcare bill doesn't have the votes Debt ceiling returns, creating new headache for GOP Letters: Congress, raise the debt limit now MORE (R-Ohio) said the prospect of being ousted from his leadership position was not a factor in his decision to step down during an interview on Sunday in which he blasted "false prophets" in the Republican Party.
The Speaker said stepping down was in the best interest of his colleagues in the House, who would be forced to vote whether to retain him.
Boehner also called the right wing of the House GOP “unrealistic” in their expectation to pass conservative legislation in a divided government.
“Absolutely, they’re unrealistic!” he exclaimed. “The Bible says beware of false prophets, and there are people out there spreading noise about how much can get done. This whole notion that we’re going to shut down the government to get rid of ObamaCare in 2013, that plan never had a chance.”
Boehner said the American system of government was designed to usher in change slowly.
“Our Founders didn’t want some sort of parliamentary system where if you got the majority, you got to do whatever you wanted,” he said. “They wanted this long, slow process. And so change comes slowly and obviously too slowly for some.”
Members of the House Freedom Caucus and some GOP presidential candidates have threatened to shut down the government over federal funding of Planned Parenthood.
Boehner on Friday announced he would retire from Congress in early October. The decision came a day after Pope Francis addressed a joint session of Congress, which was a crowning achievement for the Catholic Speaker.