House Speaker John Boehner today lashed out at suggestions that Republicans use race when criticizing President Barack Obama, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and other members of the administration.
One day after Holder charged that he and Obama were treated with “unprecedented, unwarranted adversity” from House GOP lawmakers, Boehner, R-West Chester Twp., said “there is no issue of race here.”
Brushing aside a reporter’s question about Republicans using racism when attacking Obama and Holder, Boehner said Republicans are frustrated because of their belief that the administration has not been candid on an array of issues.
In particular, Boehner cited accusations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative organizations, the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, and the 2009 effort by law enforcement officials to allow the sale of illegal guns in an effort to track sellers and purchasers of drugs, known as Operation Fast and Furious.
“The frustration … is that the American people have not been told the truth about what happened at the IRS,’’ Boehner snapped. “The American people have not been told the truth about what happened with Fast and Furious.’’
“The administration has not told the American people the truth about Benghazi,’’ Boehner said. “When it comes to Benghazi, we’ve got four Americans who are dead, and their families deserve the truth about what happened and the administration refuses to tell them the truth.’’
Boehner then abruptly left the podium.
The latest dispute between the administration and House Republicans erupted Tuesday during a House hearing when Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, declared that Holder did not care about being held in contempt by the House in 2012. The Senate never acted on the contempt resolution.
“I realize contempt is not a big deal to our attorney general, but it is important that we have proper oversight,” said Gohmert.
Holder immediately shot back: “You should not assume that that is not a big deal to me. I think that it was inappropriate, I think it was unjust. But never think that was not a big deal to me.”
During a speech Wednesday before a civil rights organization, Holder went off his prepared remarks to declare that “you look at the way the attorney general of the United States was treated yesterday by a House committee. What attorney general has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment? What president has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?”