Speaker John A. Boehner refused to analyze Majority Leader Eric Cantor's primary defeat on Tuesday — instead blasting President Barack Obama for "making deals with terrorists" and "taking a nap" on Iraq.
"I'll let the political pundits describe and figure out what happened in that election," the Ohio Republican told reporters at his weekly press conference Thursday morning. "Every election is different."
He also wouldn't make an endorsement for who should replace Cantor, R-Va., as the No. 2 member of the House GOP.
"Members are going to make this decision," Boehner said, adding that he can "work with anyone" who might get the job — whether it's current Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Rules Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, or perhaps even Idaho Republican Raúl R. Labrador. Instead, Boehner sought to deflect from the party's internal politics by instead highlighting what hasn't changed in the past 36-odd hours: The crucial need for Republicans to continue to fight against the Obama administration.
Reiterating his position that the swap of five Taliban prisoners in the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, prison for the safe return of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl would make America less safe, Boehner said that the "new Obama Doctrine is making deals with terrorists."
He also criticized Obama's approach to exploding civil war in Iraq, saying the president was busy "taking a nap."
"The issue with immigration reform has not changed," he stressed. "The president continues to ignore the laws that he signed into law, violating his oath of office and he did it again with the release of the five Guantánamo prisoners.
"Every time he does this," Boehner said, "it makes it harder to gain the trust of our members to do the big things that need to be done around here."