John Boehner: The 'so-called America First Caucus' is 'one of the nuttiest things I've ever seen'

John Boehner: The 'so-called America First Caucus' is 'one of the nuttiest things I've ever seen'
Former House Speaker John Boehner.AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke
  • Boehner slammed the effort by a group of House Republicans to create an "America First Caucus."
  • On NBC's "Meet The Press," Boehner called the idea one of the "nuttiest" things he has witnessed.
  • "We ought to celebrate the fact that we are this giant melting pot," he said.

Former GOP House Speaker John Boehner on Sunday derided the plan that several House Republicans had to form an "America First Caucus," calling it one of the "nuttiest" things he has witnessed.

On NBC's "Meet the Press," Boehner, who served as speaker from 2011 to 2015, laced into the group.

"I can tell you that this so-called America First Caucus is one of the nuttiest things I've ever seen," he said.
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Punchbowl News on Friday reported that conservative GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona were building a Republican caucus centered on "Anglo-Saxon political traditions" that would, among other issues, oppose "mass immigration" and coronavirus-related lockdowns.

On Saturday, Greene said that she would not be spearheading an "America First Caucus," adding that she had not read the document that Punchbowl News released the day before.

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Boehner criticized the worldview of those who conceived of such a caucus.

"I have no idea how this even showed up," he emphasized. "America is a land of immigration. We've been the world's giant melting pot for 250 years. And we ought to celebrate the fact that we are this giant melting pot. He added: "To see some members of Congress go off and start this America First Caucus is - it's the silliest thing I've ever seen. And Republicans need to denounce it."
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GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California reprimanded the effort through Twitter on Friday.

"America is built on the idea that we are all created equal and success is earned through honest, hard work," he wrote. "It isn't built on identity, race, or religion. The Republican Party is the party of Lincoln & the party of more opportunity for all Americans - not nativist dog whistles."

Later in his interview, Boehner expressed regret for not reaching a deal on immigration reform with former President Barack Obama.
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"Our immigration system is a mess," he said. "It's broken from top to bottom. And it needs to be fixed so that it's fairer for Americans who are here and fairer for those who are trying to come here."

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