During a Today Show interview with NBC's Matt Lauer, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) discussed the need to address our debt crisis that is threatening the future of our kids and grandkids, the mandate from the American people to find common ground, the ongoing bipartisan conversations on immigration reform, and the culture of violence in our society:
ON THE PRESIDENT'S REFUSAL TO TAKE ON HIS OWN PARTY TO CUT SPENDING:
"What I suggested was during the debt talks, the president didn't have the courage take on the members of his own party. The president knows that we've got a serious spending problem and we've got a debt problem, a structural debt problem that needs to be resolved. But there were issues that we had agreed upon in the summer of 2011 that once we got through December of 2012, weren't even on the table anymore."
ON THE MANDATE FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO FIND COMMON GROUND:
"The president and I get along fine. We have a very good relationship. We come from very different worlds. He has a liberal ideology, I come from a more conservative side. But having said that, the American people on election day gave us a mandate, a Republican congress and a Democrat president. And the mandate was to find a way to work together, find common ground."
ON THE PROSPECTS FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM:
"That's why I've had-- four or five Republican members sitting with four or five Democrat members now for four years, working through a lot of issues on immigration. And I think what I've been trying to do is to foster this bipartisan conversation on immigration reform, both legal and illegal immigration. And I would hope that the Senate players could continue to work in a bipartisan fashion. That's the only way we're gonna be able to address the big issues that face our country."
ON THE CULTURE OF VIOLENCE IN OUR SOCIETY:
"All of our hearts go out to the victims of these tragedies around our country. I would hope that we would take a broader look at this. The violence in our society, where does it come from? If you look at each of these mass shootings -- each of the shooters -- all had mental health issues. how can we do a better job there of controlling their access to weapons? What do we do about school safety? There are a lot of things that we ought to look at. Listen, there are a lot of ideas that are out there. And the question is, what will truly help bring down the violence in our society?"