Boehner blames 'knuckleheads in Congress' who listen to talk radio for shutdown

Former Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerA time for war, a time for peace — and always a time to defend America Esper's chief of staff to depart at end of January Soleimani killing deepens distrust between Trump, Democrats MORE (R-Ohio) said Monday that GOP lawmakers who listen to talk radio are to blame for the recent partial government shutdown.

BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerA time for war, a time for peace — and always a time to defend America Esper's chief of staff to depart at end of January Soleimani killing deepens distrust between Trump, Democrats MORE signled out "talk radio people" and those he called the "goofballs on the right," while speaking at the the Caxambas Republican Club on Marco Island, Fla., according to The Naples Daily News

“The knuckleheads in Congress that listen to these guys start blowing in the president's ear,” Boehner said.

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“All of sudden, the president calls [former House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWarren now also knocking Biden on Social Security Biden alleges Sanders campaign 'doctored video' to attack him on Social Security record Sanders campaign responds to Biden doctored video claims: Biden should 'stop trying to doctor' public record MORE (R-Wis.)] and [current House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyCalifornia sues Trump administration over fracking Trump: Impeachment timing intended to hurt Sanders Overnight Energy: Schumer votes against USMCA, citing climate impact | Republicans offer details on their environmental proposals | Microsoft aims to be carbon negative by 2030 MORE (R-Calif.)] and says, ‘I want $5 billion or nothing.'"

Boehner's comments came just days after Trump signed a continuing resolution to temporarily reopen the government following a 35-day shutdown. But the resolution only lasts for three weeks, raising the threat of another shutdown.

Trump is demanding over $5 billion in funding for his proposed border wall with Mexico, but Democrats oppose that request.

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter and talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh were among the pundits urging Trump to only sign a spending bill if it included funds for a wall along the southern border. 

Boehner said the U.S. has never taken the subject of securing the nation's borders "seriously." But he said the shutdown was caused by actors who shouldn't be trusted to address those concerns.

"When I was looking for legislative strategy, the last place I looked was talk radio," Boehner said. "The second last place I looked was the knucklehead caucus, who don’t know how to vote 'yes' on anything. They did the president a total disservice.”

He added that he's told Trump to stop focusing on the border wall and to instead advocate for secure borders. 

“Your people will hear build the wall, but to the rest of America, they’ll hear let’s secure our borders, which we need to do,” Boehner said. 

Boehner, who has been critical of Trump in the past, said Monday night that the president has "by and large ... done the right things.”