RUSH: We’re so happy to have with us the Speaker of the House, John Boehner. I’m glad that we had a chance to talk to you here, Mr. Speaker, because people are confused with all of these leaks as to what’s going on.
SPEAKER BOEHNER: Well, Rush, there is no deal. No deal publicly. No deal privately. There is absolutely no deal. Our focus —
RUSH: Are you talking about a deal, though?
SPEAKER BOEHNER: Pardon me?
RUSH: Are you talking about a deal in secret?
SPEAKER BOEHNER: Our focus right now is getting the Senate to follow us in the House and pass cut, cap, and balance. I believe that we’ve got to act to prevent a default and to prevent a downgrade of our nation’s credit rating, and the best way to do that is to enact cut, cap, and balance. But let me be clear: I believe that is the best course of action. I’ve said all the way along that we’ve gotta keep the lines of communication open. That’s why Leader Cantor and I have talked with Mitch McConnell. We’ve talked to Nancy Pelosi. We’ve talked to the president. We talked about fallback options if in fact cut, cap, and balance does go down; and I do think it’s our obligation to have a fallback plan if that doesn’t work.
RUSH: Well, but that’s what everybody is worried about: What is the fallback plan? A congressional aide is out there today saying that the deal’s been struck. He’s unnamed, he’s on Fox, he’s saying, “It’s $3 trillion of cuts with no tax revenue.” National Journal says three trillion in cuts with “insignificant” tax revenues. So a lot of people out here are of the opinion that Obama is the one who ought to be caving. He’s the one that doesn’t have a plan. He’s forcing you to compromise with yourself. He’s done great damage to the economy, and people want it to stop.
SPEAKER BOEHNER: I understand. I’m concerned about the nation defaulting on its credit rating. I’m concerned about us not doing anything about our debt, which will cause our credit rating to fall — and which then would mean everybody’s interest rates go up. I think that’s irresponsible. Frankly, we’ve looked at a half a dozen fallback plans. None of which, none of which, are all that appetizing. That’s why we continue to support cut, cap, and balance.
RUSH: So you’re convinced that a default would make us unable…? We were to be unable to service our debt if there’s a default?
SPEAKER BOEHNER: I’m concerned that we’re getting into uncharted territory that could wreak great havoc on our nation, and I don’t think it’s necessary to get into that unknown zone and take the chance — and I, frankly, believe that we’ve gotta find a way to cut our budget deficit, cut our debt, and balance our budget.
RUSH: Why is it not Obama’s responsibility to do that? He’s the one that’s put us in this position.
SPEAKER BOEHNER: It would have been nice if the President would have put a plan to the table months ago, but the President has refused to put any plan on the table. It’s obviously been driving me right up a wall.
RUSH: He wants you to take the heat for whatever happens.
SPEAKER BOEHNER: Yeah, but I think at the end of the day he knows that he’s the commander-in-chief, he’s the president of the United States, and HE will take the heat.
RUSH: Well, a lot of people are concerned that you are his lifeline to reelection and that that’s how he sees you, and that if he can get you to act in any way that can be portrayed as a cave that he wins, and that’s what people are deathly afraid of.
SPEAKER BOEHNER: Rush, I’m trying to do what I taught my kids to do; the same thing my parents taught me to do: You do the right things for the right reasons, good things will happen.
RUSH: All right, Speaker Boehner thanks much.
SPEAKER BOEHNER: Thank you, Rush.
RUSH: I wish we had more time, but we don’t. Thanks very much for the time here.