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

Former Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerTed Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists Ted Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists Rep. Amash stokes talk of campaign against Trump MORE (R-Ohio) said Monday that GOP lawmakers who listen to talk radio are to blame for the recent partial government shutdown.

BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerTed Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists Ted Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists Rep. Amash stokes talk of campaign against Trump 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 RyanIndiana GOP Rep. Brooks says she won't seek reelection Indiana GOP Rep. Brooks says she won't seek reelection Inside Biden's preparations for first debate MORE (R-Wis.)] and [current House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThe Congressional Award — a beacon of hope  The case for congressional pay raises McConnell defends Trump amid backlash: 'He gets picked at every day' 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.”