- (Photo: Reuters)
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) continued to criticize President Barack Obama Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" for using the office of the president to campaign for reelection rather than focus on governing.
"The president and I have a very good relationship. As a result, I try and avoid personal attacks on the president. But, let me say something. The president is getting some very bad advice from his campaign team, because, he's diminishing the presidency by picking fights, going after straw men every day," Boehner told host Candy Crowley.
The accusation was not new for Boehner.
At a press conference last Thursday, for example, Boehner said the presidency "is the biggest job in the world and I've never seen a president make it smaller."
Boehner accused Obama of inventing "fake fights" to further his reelection chances.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) made a similar charge on the Senate floor Friday in a blistering speech accusing Obama of politicizing the death of Osama Bin Laden in a new campaign ad and a speech by Vice President Joe Biden.
"Shame on Barack Obama," McCain said, "for diminishing the memory of September 11th and the killing of Osama bin Laden by turning it into a cheap political attack ad. ... This is the same president who said, after bin Laden was dead, that we shouldn't 'spike the ball' after the touchdown. And now Barack Obama is not only trying to score political points by invoking Osama bin Laden, he is doing a shameless end-zone dance to help himself get reelected."
Republicans have also accused Obama, in recent weeks, of campaigning at taxpayer expense after he gave speeches about student loans at colleges in three swing states. Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus issued a formal complaint to the Government Accountability Office and comptroller general last week asking that the Obama campaign reimburse expenses for the trip.
Boehner mentioned the "Buffett rule," oil marked manipulation and student loans as three issues where he believes Obama is using political "gimmicks" to further his reelection chances.
"The point I've been trying to make here," Boehner told Crowley, "in the last couple of weeks is that the president is bigger than this. The presidency is important. America has big challenges, big fiscal challenges and we've got big challenges for our economy and the president ought to be working with Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill to address the big issues that affect the American people."
Crowley asked Boehner if these charges against the president were examples of the hyperbolic rhetoric typical of election year politics.
"The president is getting some bad advice. Someone ought to help him out. I thought I would," Boehner answered as Crowley laughed.