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John Boehner Slams Conservative ‘False Prophets’

What Boehner's Resignation Says About Republican Party Divisions 2:04

House Speaker John Boehner slammed hard-line conservatives as "false prophets" who are merely "spreading noise" rather than trying to achieve anything tangible.

Speaking on CBS' "Face the Nation," the retiring Speaker pointed to the 2013 Affordable Care Act fight as an example of a tactic that "never had a chance" of success."

"The Bible says beware of false prophets. And there are people out there, you know, spreading noise about how much can get done. I mean this whole notion that we're going to shut down the government to get rid of Obamacare in 2013 -- this plan never had a chance," Boehner said.

"But over the course of the August recess in 2013 and in September, a lot of my Republican colleagues who knew this was a fool's errand — really, they were getting all this pressure from home to do this," he added.

Boehner said that conservative groups and lawmakers have purposely misled voters, charging that they've "whipped people into a frenzy believing they can accomplish things that they know -- they know -- are never going to happen."

Conservatives have repeatedly threatened to shut down the government over various hot-button issues since Republicans took over the House in 2010, a tactic led by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and one that's brought him considerable esteem among conservative voters.

Asked whether he was referring to Cruz specifically as a "false prophet," Boehner pointed to a report suggesting he referred to the senator as a "jackass" at a private fundraiser.

"You can pick a lot of names out. I'll let you choose them," he said.

Conservatives have for weeks been gearing up for another shutdown push, this time over funding for Planned Parenthood. But Boehner's announcement Friday of his plans to resign at the end of October reduced the likelihood of such an outcome. The Speaker said on CBS that the Senate is expected to pass a funding bill that doesn't address Planned Parenthood funding this week, all but assuring President Obama's signatue, and the House will take it up after that.

That's the first of what Boehner indicated will be a flurry of activity during his five remaining weeks in office, during which he said he'll "get as much finished as possible."

Congress is facing end-of-year deadlines to again fund the government, raise the borrowing limit, extend certain tax breaks, weigh in on the Iran Deal and a handful of other issues.

"I don't want to leave my successor a dirty barn," Boehner said. "So I want to clean the barn up a little bit before the next person gets here."