Former House Speaker John Boehner (R–Ohio) said he understands why President Obama never felt the need to work with Republicans during his eight years in office, it’s because of the racist birther conspiracy theory.
During President Obama’s first term in office, the right, including some members of Congress and in conservative media started to spread the racist conspiracy theory that the nation’s first black president was born in Kenya.
In an excerpt from his book ‘On the House: A Washington Memoir’ published by Politico Magazine on Friday Boehner recalls how he “got all kinds of shit” for stating, as a matter of fact, that the state of Hawaii said President Obama was born there. “You would have thought I’d called Ronald Reagan a communist,” he quipped.
“All of this crap swirling around was going to make it tough for me to cut any deals with Obama as the new House Speaker. Of course, it has to be said that Obama didn’t help himself much either,” John Boehner wrote. “He could come off as lecturing and haughty. He still wasn’t making Republican outreach a priority. But on the other hand—how do you find common cause with people who think you are a secret Kenyan Muslim traitor to America?”
Donald Trump rose to political prominence by touting the racist birther conspiracy theory and ultimately won the Republican Party nomination for president in 2016. He’d go on to win the election and became one of the most divisive presidents in the country’s history and reshaped the entire Republican Party.
The new Republican Party in the age of Trump “didn’t really want legislative victories,” Boehner wrote. instead, they dedicated themselves to “wedge issues and conspiracies and crusades.”