House Speaker John Boehner admitted he may “rib people a little too much” but said he was not mocking his fellow Republicans when he implied his caucus was a pouty bunch of lawmakers too afraid to address immigration reform.
"There was no mocking, you know me,” the Republican leader said Tuesday. “You tease the ones you love, but some people misunderstood what I had to say. I wanted to make sure members understood that the biggest impediment we have to moving immigration reform is the American people don't trust the president to enforce or implement the law that we may or may not pass.”
While in his home district in Ohio last week, Boehner seemingly undercut some of his caucus by suggesting they were too afraid to deal with the hot button issue of immigration reform.
"Here's the attitude. Ohhhh. Don't make me do this. Ohhhh. This is too hard," Boehner told his constituents while pretending to whine.
The comments gave supporters of immigration reform hope there may be a chance for comprehensive legislation to pass this year. But Boehner’s remarks Tuesday walked back the notion that he has changed his position.
"We all know we have a broken immigration system. And we’re going to continue to work with our members and have discussions to see if there is a way forward. But the president has to take action himself. He’s got to show the American people and show the Congress that he can be trusted to implement the law the way it may be passed," he said.
“Our members know me, but sometimes I can rib people a little too much, this wouldn't be the first time,” Boehner added.
First published April 29 2014, 8:28 AM
Luke Russert joined NBC News in August 2008 as a correspondent based in Washington, D.C. Russert currently reports from Capitol Hill on the House of Representatives for â€œNightly News with Brian Williams,â€ â€œTODAY,â€ MSNBC and NBCNews.com.
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Since late 2011 Russert has served as a guest host on various MSNBC programs including: â€œWay Too Earlyâ€ â€œThe Daily Rundown with Chuck Toddâ€ â€œAndrea Mitchell Reportsâ€ â€œNOW with Alex Wagnerâ€ and â€œThe Cycle.â€
From March 2006-2010, Russert co-hosted the sports radio talk show "60/20 Sports" with political pundit James Carville on Sirius-XM Satellite Radio. On "60/20 Sports" he interviewed the likes of former President Clinton, former President George Bush, Bill Russell, Cal Ripken Jr. and Lance Armstrong.
In May of 2009, Russert was honored with the Marlin Fitzwater Award for Leadership in Public Communication from Franklin Pierce University, an award meant to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to public discourse in the spirit of a healthy democracy. Heâ€™s also received an honorary degree from Wingate University in North Carolina.
Russert graduated from Boston College with a double major in history and communications. He is the son of the late Tim Russert and Vanity Fair writer Maureen Orth. Russert lives in Washington, D.C., with his pug Chamberlain.