In recent weeks, Republicans have been making headlines for their unabashed advocacy on behalf of Wall Street and big business at the expense of American taxpayers. In a recent interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) compared the financial crisis to a poor little ant, and criticized Democrats for “killing” it with a “nuclear weapon” (i.e. financial reform).
Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs went after Boehner and called him “completely out of touch with America.” A staffer for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) responded, “An ant, Mr. Boehner? It was the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression — Americans lost 8 million jobs and $17 trillion in retirement savings and net worth.”
Today at a town hall event in Racine, WI, President Obama went directly after Boehner, telling him that most Americans don’t think “the financial crisis was an ant and we just need a little ant swatter to fix this thing”:
The leader of the Republicans in the House said that financial reform was like — I’m quoting it — “using a nuclear weapon to target an ant.” That’s what he said. He compared the financial crisis to an ant. This is the same financial crisis that led to the loss of nearly eight million jobs. The same crisis that cost people their homes, their life savings. He can’t be that out of touch with the struggles of American families, and if he is, he should come here to Racine and ask people what they think. Maybe I’m confused. Do you think that the financial crisis was an ant and we just need a little ant swatter to fix this thing, or do you think that we need to restructure how we regulate the financial system so you aren’t on the hook again and we don’t have this crisis again?
When you ask men and women who’ve been out of work for months at a time, who talk about how they’ve been barely hanging on, they don’t think this financial crisis was something where you just need a few tweaks. They know that it’s what led to the worst recession since the Great Depression. And they expect their leaders in Washington to do whatever it takes to make sure a crisis like this never happens again.