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In an interview for NBC’s "Meet the Press," House Speaker John Boehner dismissed the idea of too many special interests in the nation’s capital, calling every American "a special interest."
"When I get home, everybody I talk to has their own interest," Boehner told Chuck Todd. "Every American belongs to dozens of special interest groups, whether they want to or not."
The issue of special interests and lobbying in Washington was one of many issues of congressional dysfunction Boehner addressed in the exclusive sit-down at the Capitol.
The Republican from southwestern Ohio argued that people are involved in interest groups — knowingly or unknowingly — based on their interests, professions and stages in life.
“If they're older … they get represented by the AARP," Boehner said. “The competition of ideas is what matters. There’s a lot of good ideas and a lot of bad ideas that float through here. But it's, in my view, a misconception of the so-called special interests.”
Boehner also rejected the idea of too much money in politics, saying, "We spend more money on antacids than we do on politics."
When asked about gerrymandering, Boehner said Democrats in Ohio controlled the drawing of electoral districts in his state for many years. Now, Republicans have the power. “Our turn to draw the lines,” he said.
Boehner said that while the American political system might have its flaws, the voters determine Congress’ actions.
"At the end of the day, I'm responsible to my constituents for what I do here," he said. "We live in an imperfect political system. We live in an imperfect democracy. But as bad as it is, guess what? It's better than anyplace else in the world."