Interviews

'False prophets'? Rep. Brat responds to slap from Boehner

Republican lawmaker from Virginia weighs in

 

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," September 28, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R-OHIO, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The Bible says, beware of false prophets. And there are people out there spreading noise about how much can get done. I mean, this whole idea that we were going to shut down the government to get rid of Obamacare in 2013, this plan never had chance.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Beware false prophets.

Well, does this make this guy one of them, the Virginia Republican who toppled an institution, in Eric Cantor, and became a United States congressman again all odds and against all predicts?

The good Congressman Dave Brat joining me right now.

Congressman, I think he is saying guys like you are false prophets. What do you think of that?

REP. DAVE BRAT, R-VA.: Neil, I don't think so.

I think a lot of John Boehner as a man. I went to seminary, so I know a little bit about false prophets. And Speaker Boehner himself, along with Eric Cantor, made a pledge to America on paper. Right? It's kind of like the 10 Commandments out of the Bible. And that's a good thing.

Ethics is about putting your ideas down on paper ahead of time. Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor made a pledge to America to replace Obamacare, keep the budget caps, three days to repeal, to read bills, reform Fannie and Freddie, and force sanctions in Iran, roll back nondiscretionary spending.

And so who set the expectations? The speaker did and Eric Cantor set those expectations when we're running for office, and I hope they mean to keep our promises when we put them in leadership and we're -- when we're running Congress.  

CAVUTO: But what do you -- I understand what you were saying, sir. But I think you have heard the rap against -- there's only so much someone can do if you don't have the two-thirds majority, if you're dealing with a president in the White House.

You're quite right to say, hey, if only you hadn't telegraphed this -- these limitations. But what do you want to see now? Is Kevin McCarthy, the guy who is most likely name as a possible replacement for Speaker Boehner, your guy? Would you be against McCarthy? Who would you be for?

BRAT: Well, let me get back.

Yes, it's not about being clever. I actually mean it. And I think when you own the House and the Senate, you have the power of the purse at your disposal. And so Speaker Boehner said, I said we would fight it tooth and nail on President Obama's unconstitutional amnesty. If we had, two majorities in the House and the Senate, "And I meant it," Boehner said, in quotes.

What is at risk is the rule of law and the sanctity of America's Constitution. That is pretty heavy-duty. Peter Roskam, last week, a couple weeks ago, we got together on the Iran deal, and as soon as Peter came in with some suggestions, the 30 or 40 in our group, we all got together, and all of a sudden the Republican Party did unify, and we found some smart lawyers in the back room and we came up with some creative new ideas on how to move forward on Iran.

So, that's just one example. We can do the same on...

CAVUTO: Yes, I know. Roskam has been mentioned -- Roskam has been mentioned as a possible future speaker. Would you support him? He is a special guest of ours tomorrow.

But what do you think of him?

BRAT: I ran on the Republican Creed in Virginia. And I'm very serious about putting your ideas down on paper.

I will support the candidate who comes closest to the six principles in the Republican Creed of Virginia and in the pledge to America that our own leadership made.

CAVUTO: OK. So if you have a choice between Roskam and Kevin McCarthy, who comes closer?

BRAT: I don't know yet. We're going to interview all the candidates and get them to see what they will put down on paper, not just for us, but to the American people.

CAVUTO: Understood.

BRAT: Many people had taught about loyalty to the institution, but the institution is set up for the American people.

CAVUTO: But, you know, Congressman, your critics immediately seized on this in a post -- sympathetic way to Boehner's departure and said, well, the angry inmates have taken over the asylum.

Disavow them of that notion. What do you think?

BRAT: Yes. No, that's a false narrative.

On the budget, right, everybody is worried about a shutdown. There's not going to be a shutdown. The Planned Parenthood films are awful, but that's a shiny object at the end of the debate. Our own team and our own leadership announced that we were going to break the budget cap four months ago. Planned Parenthood only came up about a month ago.

So, we know what was happening on the budget. When the press comes to me and asks me on the budget, you say disabuse them of that. I ask the press, who is in charge of the United States budget right now? The Budget Committee is not. We passed a budget that balances in 10 years. Approps is the next stage. They're not in on the deal as far as I know.

Barbara Mikulski is in that room somehow. She is telling us we should bust the caps. And she is in the room. So, we're going to do a C.R. now until right before December, and then in December, it's going to be merry Christmas time. The left and right throw in the kitchen sink.

And I'll tell you, beware of false prophets? The false profits I'm nervous about are the prophets -- are the false prophets on Wall Street. If Export-Import Bank makes its way into that budget, I think the American people are going to...

CAVUTO: But you would be -- I understand. And, boy, you really are a smart guy.

BRAT: Yes.

CAVUTO: I knew you were professor and all. You just proved it.

But let me ask you, would it be worth a government shutdown to stand for principle on these issuing, specifically the Planned Parenthood situation?

BRAT: If you're smart, you can think six months ahead. The Democrats appear to have lawyers who can think two decades ahead. I'm dying for us to pull the smart lawyers out and make plans, so we do not run into this ditch.

CAVUTO: Well, this is like six days ahead. I mean, where do you -- where do you stand?

(LAUGHTER)

BRAT: Yes, right.

And so -- and who put us in this, in this context?

CAVUTO: All right.

BRAT: The leadership.

So, I'm not responsible for being here. If you want to put these ideas down on paper six months ahead of time, we will be in much better shape.

CAVUTO: All right, Congressman, it's always good having you.

BRAT: Thank you, Neil.

CAVUTO: Thank you very much.

All right, that is Dave Brat.

If you think about it, it was his defeat in a primary against Eric Cantor that prompted Speaker Boehner to delay his decision for essentially more than a year. He was planning to leave, but he said that defeat, that victory by Congressman Brat changed everything. Now we know. All right.

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