Speaker John A. Boehner has a special affinity for poking fun at reporters' sartorial decisions. But on Wednesday, it was Boehner who found himself on the butt end of a joke.
The Ohio Republican began his question and answer session Wednesday morning with some classic schoolyard sarcasm regarding Bloomberg reporter Derek Wallbank's decision to wear a light purple button-down Wednesday.
"Nice shirt," the Speaker said.
Wallbank took the comment -- or at least tried to take the comment -- as a compliment.
"Thank you, sir," he said. "A little bright for this early in the morning," Boehner continued. "And the tie."
The tie was a striped number that picked up some of the purple in the shirt.
Wallbank commented that he liked to stand out.
"It stands out -- don't worry," Boehner said, before fielding a question on tax policy.
A couple minutes later, it was Jonathan Nicholson of BNA's turn.
Nicholson began his question, but Boehner butted in that it was a good thing Nicholson wasn't sitting next to Wallbank. (Nicholson was wearing a bright red shirt.)
But Nicholson wasn't about to let Boehner have the last word. Without missing a beat, Nicholson dished it right back to the Speaker of the House.
"Nice tan, sir," Nicholson said.
That was enough to ignite the room of reporters and lawmakers in delight. Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., particularly seemed to enjoy the joke.
To his credit, Boehner took it all in stride and noted that he can dish it out and he can take it.