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House of Representatives

Boehner: Relationship With Obama 'A Little Frosty' Since Golf Outing


June 18, 2011: President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on the first green as they play golf at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP)

Extending an olive branch after weeks of disputes over conflicting jobs plans, House Speaker John Boehner said Sunday his relationship with one-time golf partner President Obama has grown "a little frosty," though it's still "pretty good."

The Ohio Republican told ABC's "This Week" that the last few weeks have chilled -- down from a high point over the summer when the president and the second-in-line to his office played golf together. But, Boehner said, they are negotiating in the right direction. 

"We've got a pretty good relationship. Doesn't mean that we always agree. But the American people expect -- even though we have very different ideas -- the American people want us to look for common ground and then act on it. So far, we've been able to do that. We've taken some steps in the right direction here over the last couple of months. We've got a lot more steps to take together," he said.

Boehner also disputed contentions that he has misled the president in negotiations over a debt deal that has since led to a Super Committee of 12 members trying to come up with a plan to trim $1.2 trillion in the federal budget over the next 10 years. The Super Committee has until Nov. 23 to present its plan or face mandatory cuts in military and entitlement spending.

"I've told the president, you know, I'm -- I'm the most straight-up, transparent person in this town, that I would never mislead him. My word is my bond. Democrats and Republicans here in Washington understand that," he said.

But Boehner said Obama has to cut out what he sees as "class warfare" by pushing for higher taxes for high-income Americans.

"We are not going to engage in class warfare. The president's out there doing it every day. I, frankly, think it's unfortunate," Boehner said. "Our job is to help all Americans, not to pit one set of Americans against another. The president's clearly trying to do it. And it's wrong."

Boehner said the top 1 percent of income earners in the U.S. pay 38 percent of the income taxes. 

"How much more do you want them to pay? Well, I'll tell you what: Let's take all the money that the rich have, all of it. It won't even put a dent in our current budget deficit, much less our debt," he said. 

Boehner added that Americans' anger at Congress is expected -- because they only see conflict reported by the media, not cooperation. 

"It would surprise people that 90 percent of the time, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle get along. But, you know, that's not news for those of you in the news business," Boehner said.

"Listen, the founders gave us a committee of 535 people. Frankly, it was designed not to work. My job is to make it work. And it is working. Is it slow? Yes. Is it frustrating? Yes. But what I take a comfort in every day is that I know members on both sides of the aisle are trying to do the right thing for the American people every single day," he said.