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October 4th, 2013
10:51 AM ET

John Boehner vs. Nancy Pelosi, who was a better leader?

The Crossfire hosts talk with Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and Rep. Mike Kelly about the government shutdown negotiations.

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Filed under: Debates • economy • Mike Kelly • Newt Gingrich • Sheila Jackson-Lee • Stephanie Cutter
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. itsallanillusion

    Choice between a pile of cattle excrement and a pile of pig excrement. The only difference is the source. They both stink the same.

    October 8, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  2. Whyowhyoholic

    Boehner has got to be the only Speaker to put bills on the floor when he didn't have the votes and didn't put bills on the floor when he had the votes.

    I'm not sure if it's poor leadership, the merlot or both.

    At any rate, Pelosi by far is the better leader.

    October 8, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  3. Sheila Hodge

    Nancy Pelosi by far! Boehner is a coward and a cry baby! They say females shouldn't cry in Corporate America and everytime you turn around he crying and is just pitiful for America!

    October 8, 2013 at 11:00 am | Reply
  4. Bubba

    For those who believe Boehner is better; you have to realize that it is as compared to Pelosi. Thus, Boehner looses simply by association. It is kind of like saying your car is better than a '73 Gremlin. The sentence explains your car is a piece of dung.

    October 8, 2013 at 12:18 am | Reply
  5. John

    My cat

    October 7, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Reply
  6. thaddius

    Pelosi by a light year.

    October 7, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Reply
  7. McShannon

    John Boehner is a hypocrite and will be remembered not as a leader but a man driven by his loyalty to those less wise than himself. A pitiful example of “should have known better”.

    October 7, 2013 at 9:58 am | Reply
  8. carrotroot

    When I look at the accomplishments of these two leaders, Nancy Pelosi has a better record of keeping her caucus in line. With John Boehner I can best describe him as an incredibly weak guy who lets the most extreme elements in his caucus run the agenda, when it should be the other way around.

    So I would have to say Nancy Pelosi is the better leader.

    October 7, 2013 at 2:35 am | Reply
  9. CharlesCT

    Are you asking that seriously? Really? Who got the most work done? Who was able to organize and LEAD. Who didn't cry like a little girl? Nancy, of course!

    October 7, 2013 at 1:43 am | Reply
  10. ProtectAmericanJobs

    Both parties have sold out the bulk of the American citizens, who they're supposed to represent, by allowing the incursion of illegal aliens and the "out-sourcing" floodgates to open wider and wider without taking any sensible measures to stem the tide.

    While our politicians have been bickering for years like idiotic fools, China has been crushing the USA in a war that we don't even know we're in and without even firing a shot.

    Bringing manufacturing back home to the USA is going to end up being not only a key to restoring our economy, but to maintaining our national security as well.

    * Foreign Lobbyists here in the US promote sending US jobs to countries like China, where they work for slave wages, no benefits, no OSHA safety standards or no real environment regulations. It also doesn't help us compete when these company's factories are subsidized by China's communist government. Just check out the current Chinese extreme pollution issues – We all live in the same world, but not every country plays by the same rules.

    * Chinese firms and state agencies have been implicated in a host of hacking attacks, on targets ranging from leading industrial and technology firms, to the Pentagon and other US government agencies, to the New York Times, Coca-Cola and numerous other companies and industries.

    * Oct 2012: The U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee said U.S. telecommunications operators should not be allowed do business with China's top network equipment makers because potential Chinese state influence on the companies poses a security threat.

    * Also most counterfeit goods are produced and manufactured in China, making it the counterfeit capital of the world. In fact, the counterfeiting industry accounts for 8% of China's GDP.

    On the US Department of Commerce's US Census Bureau website there's a graphic showing how our trade imbalance has gotten progressively worse over the entire period from 1989 to the present and how it's really accelerated at an increasely greater rate each year since 1999. We can thank our leaders and the WTO for that.

    See for yourself: www(dot)census(dot)gov(slash)foreign-trade(slash)balance(slash)c0004(dot)html

    The ONLY REAL FIX for the greatest country on earth is to Raise Revenue by Bringing Back Jobs to US Citizens who Pay Income Tax.

    Our leaders are elected by the Citizens of the United States of America to represent the interests of those citizens and the country itself. They are NOT elected by the Global Market Place or foreign citizens!

    We need our elected officials to Start Protecting American Jobs and do whatever it takes to bring back the jobs they let go. We need leaders who will actually stand up for the American people.

    We need to bring manufacturing back to the United States of America and both parties are ignoring tariffs as a way to level the playing field, raise money and bring jobs back home. Let's guess why. Oh that's right, tariff is a dirty word. Hum, maybe it's that our so called leaders (political leaders) are beholden to the same people who are exporting our jobs.

    I guess we should keep letting Corp Boards, Wall Street, CEOs and Foreign Lobbyists promote sending US jobs to countries where they work for slave wages, no benefits, no OSHA safety standards or no real environment regulations. How's that been working for us?

    The so called "Global Market Place" is not a level playing field. Companies may have made higher profits by "out sourcing", but they've been putting middle class Americans who are a good part of the world's customer base out of work. I'm not a lefty or member of any union. I run a business that employs over 20 people and produces products that are purchased by customers that do manufacturing and packaging. I'm just an average Joe, but I've been saying this for more than 15 years now. If I can see it, so can our so called leaders (political leaders) who are beholden to the same people who are exporting our jobs.

    Returning private sector jobs to American Citizens will provide income tax revenue to OUR Government versus our government having to pay unemployment benefits to those who would be jobless instead. We need our elected officials to Start Protecting American Jobs and do whatever it takes to bring back the jobs they let go. We need leaders who will actually stand up for the American people.

    The bottom line is that "Our Government" has to protect domestic industry and the jobs that those industries provide. If they do that, the rest will take care of itself.

    We may have to pay a bit more for products made here in the USA by US citizens, but at least we'll still have jobs and a future for our children.

    October 6, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Reply

    Pelosi is a great patriot. Boehner is a clown.

    October 6, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  12. Mike

    Easy choice. Boehner has no control over his party and he is no leader at all. In fact he is allowing a bunch of wingnuts to hold the entire economy hostage. Pelosi is easy the WAY better leader between the two of them. I hope the GOP learns a lesson - don't let a bunch of extreme wing nuts run your party.

    October 6, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  13. California

    Do people here know that Nancy Pelosi support partial birth abortion?

    Anyone that supports Pelosi supports this.

    October 6, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Reply
    • Eyes rolling...

      Umm... Hello? Oh dumb dumb, the question was who was a better leader not who you support.

      October 7, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    • itsallanillusion

      You must have been one that got away after the procedure.

      October 8, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  14. California

    John Boehner OBVIOUSLY!!!

    October 6, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Reply
  15. tom blier

    Did'nt Nancy make more money each year from insider trading than her job in Congress?

    October 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Reply
  16. W.G.

    Nancy Pelosi was a much better leader leader . Boehner is a coward . There´s not a statesman or a MAN
    among the GOP (The Grand Old Problem ) .

    October 6, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Reply
  17. Tony

    By far Pelosi was (and will probably will soon again be) a better leader. Since becoming speaker, Boehner has been ineffective at getting any laws passed and as many experts agree this congress is the least productive ever. He now has Ted Cruz and the tea party dictating what he must do. The joke if that's what you want to call it is Cruz is the speaker of the house now. Boehner needs to grow a pair and put on his big boy pants and do his job.

    October 6, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  18. GeneK

    I can't think of any occasion when Speaker Pelosi made an agreement on behalf of the House majority and then ended up with egg on her face because she couldn't deliver the votes of that majority. Maybe someone else can remember one.

    A "leader" who has to go back and check with someone else before being able to make an commitment is nothing but a messenger.

    October 6, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  19. Cal

    Boehner is a puppet of the Tea Party. He is no leader. The Government shutdown could be over quickly but he has decided that his job is more important than the country. It is all about John Bohener.

    October 6, 2013 at 11:18 am | Reply
  20. Don

    Pelosi is a raving lunatic. The real question here is why do we not have a president that leads instead of dividing the country. I in my 65 years have never seen a country so divided. We need a new president whether it be a dem or rep. Just someone that can lead and not divide.

    October 6, 2013 at 11:02 am | Reply
    • Karina

      You are so right , there is absolutely no leadership in Washington and politicians like Boehner , Pelosi and Reid wouldn't have a job in the private sector.
      The President sets the tone and so far I have only heard infantile drivel and name calling.

      October 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  21. unc dig


    October 6, 2013 at 8:19 am | Reply
  22. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    Nancy Pelosi is the best leader by far, GOP's smear campaging notwithstanding. She has class and a clear understanding of procedures.

    October 6, 2013 at 8:11 am | Reply
  23. Jay

    We all know health care costs were getting out of control to begin with. The problem the republican party has with this bill is that the real beneficiaries are elderly citizens. They can actually retire and not worry as much about health rising costs, theoretically. So maybe 25% of the republican base will shift, I don't know. Not good for this up coming mid-term elections or 2016. Where are our so call new leaders from the right. R. Paul. My problem the Grand Ole Party is that they have their head so far up their aces, they can't see the opportunities of shaping and molding the health bill. I see this bill as a starting point, make it appealing to Americans after debating and amending sections of this new law. I agree with the Prez's stance on this bill, I think Nancy is better at compromising with the opposition.

    October 6, 2013 at 5:11 am | Reply
  24. USAPeasant

    I don't see a lick of difference between Boehner and Pelosi.

    Both have been in government too long, both only agree when it comes to doing blatantly unconstitutional and un-American things like NDAA, NSA, NDRP, Patriot Act, starting wars, etc.

    Both never can agree when it comes to doing good things like funding the government or reducing the insane trillion dollar spending every year.

    So debating who wins in Boehner vs. Pelosi is pretty much like having a beauty contest between a pig and a hog

    October 5, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Reply
  25. IAB

    Nancy Pelosy by trillions.

    October 5, 2013 at 8:13 pm | Reply
  26. IAB

    Nancy Pelosi is the better of the two. In fact I'll be very pleased when more intelligent women are elected to the House and Senate. We need to get rid of all the archaic, backward thinking,, control freaks, power hungry, racist, men with a plantation mentality. They constantly lie, brain wash the less educated ppl in Red States to the extent they vote against their own self interest. I read many of the posts on CNN, too many of the posters have no clue as to how our government is supposed to work. The POTUS DOES NOT write ANY laws, the House does. The POTUS signs the law after passed by House/Senate. He can VETO however his veto can be overturned with enough votes by H/S.

    Is it true if a rep in house/senate can get enough signatures a vote that Boehner refuses to call can take place? I need to know and so do millions of other PROGRESSIVE, INTELLIGENT AMERICANS? Please some body who knows constitutional law.

    October 5, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Reply
  27. Larry Johnson

    Why would you ask this question? Just look at the effectiveness of the current Congress. Lowest rating ever; and no legislation. And now, the current speaker has been out maneuvered by someone outside of Congress. Is the Speaker scared or not a very sharp knife when assessing the current environment and most critical issue. He erred on the wrong side of the issue. Lets see if he can rebound!

    October 5, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Reply
  28. Perkalooma

    Boehner, not Nancy "we must pass it before we know what is in it" Pelocy.

    October 5, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  29. Derek H

    Nancy Pelosi. At least she got stuff done.

    October 5, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  30. Thinker

    Pelosi made them work 5 days a week, if not more. Boehner can't get them to share their toys, let alone work. Pelosi by far the better speaker than crybaby boner

    October 5, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Reply
  31. Factco

    Do you recall Obama's open mic gaff with Putin? How quickly we forget. Will there be anything left in 2016?

    October 5, 2013 at 8:04 am | Reply
  32. Ernie Punzalan

    Both are good politician but for Speakership, Nancy Pelosi got the guts and leadership edge than Boehner. She knew how
    to exercise the influence of the position in and outside the congress hall.

    October 5, 2013 at 2:51 am | Reply
  33. pjoe

    LOL. Poor Nancy. She got swallowed by the swamp.

    October 5, 2013 at 1:29 am | Reply
  34. Nancy Simard

    Pelosi by far!!

    October 4, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Reply
  35. Joyce

    I'm tired of hearing from the Republicans "they will not negotiate". Bring the leaders together + the President and have live media coverage – let the people see what and how these people run our government – let us decide – Boehner keeps saying the American people do not want Obama care – but the majority of the American people elected him – knowing his agenda – so who are the AMERICAN people he is listening to other than the TEA PARTY.

    October 4, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Reply
  36. robert4

    Boehner is better than Pelosy. She pushed for the health bill without reading it, even though she knew it was going to cost millions or billions. How can you be for a bill that you never read? Did she just take other peoples word thst it was great?

    October 4, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Reply
    • IAB

      She didn't have to read it. She knew about the rising cost of HC, who pays when the ones who do not have HC go to the emergency room. The fact the wealthy DO NOT need HC Insurance b/c they get a LARGE discount if they pay doctor, hospitals cash. Do your research people.

      When i read the comments on CNN blogs i see so many comments that tell me how knowledgeable Americans are. Many quote Fox, Hannity, Beck, and Limbaugh word for word. The national debt is lower now than it has been in 10 years, more oil is being produced in America, stock market has gone from 7T to as high as 15T. since Pres. O. has been in office. He also tried to get a jobs bill through right after election the blue dog dems voted with GOP and it was voted down. The night Pres. O was sworn into office the GOP had a meeting agreed to vote against everything Obama tried to do for the working/middle class. You Obama haters do your research.

      October 5, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Reply
    • maxine howard

      I agree Congressman Boehner. Pelosi is unfit. As long as I live I will never forget that Scam she pulled on the people of the US. Pass it so you can read it later. Screw the citizens. One of the most despicable politicians ever!!!!

      October 6, 2013 at 1:53 am | Reply
    • Frank Klus

      The ACA was debated for a full year before being passed. The issue is who makes the better leader. To answer this question it doesn't matter who you like; it is simply who is the better leader. Considering that Boehner originally was against holding government hostage over ACA and then became the leader of the movement only demonstrates that Boehner is being led by the insurrectionist Tea Party and not doing the leading.

      October 6, 2013 at 2:25 am | Reply
    • George T Hibs

      Most of the pathetic Liberals never read Obama Care before they voted for it. Now when they find out the true cost, they want to simply bury their collective heads in the ground. For all of those of you who purchase your own health insurance or get it through your employer and believe in Obama Care, I ask that you wait until January, 2015 when it becomes mandatory to purchase health coverage through an exchange and all employer plans must meet all of the mandates. Your health care premiums are projected to double at that time. Oh and that subsidized coverage they keep touting, well it is only the Silver Plan, second from the bottom of the list in coverage. It is a 70/30% coverage plan and exposes the most vulnerable people to an annual maximum out of pocket cost of $6300. How do you like that hopey changey feelnig now???

      October 6, 2013 at 10:42 am | Reply
    • Cal

      It is settled law. It is time to move on. Quit living in the past.

      October 6, 2013 at 11:19 am | Reply
    • Karina

      Better yet , she doesn't want Obama care for herself and has the right to opt out like unions and big co-operations , everybody else would have to pay a fine. Outragious....!!!!

      October 7, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  37. Whatever

    John Boehner vs. Nancy Pelosi, who was a better leader?

    Nancy Pelosi.

    October 4, 2013 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  38. henryez

    This is like comparing apples and oranges. Mr. Boehner is by far the worst speaker we ever had simple!

    October 4, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Reply
    • itsallanillusion

      Ah, but they're both fruits.

      October 8, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  39. californiaAC

    Boehner is no leader. he is being led by the nose by Ted Cruz.

    October 4, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Reply
    • Cal

      Cruz is the real leader of the GOP.i

      October 6, 2013 at 11:20 am | Reply
  40. csanch

    Mike Kelly has no clue what the Affordable Care Act is – he said premiums were going sky high – WRONG – WRONG – our insurance in this big company went down to $5.00 a month/$60.00 a year. AND we are getting an HRA Card with company money in it $400.00 which can roll over from year to year. Please don't lead these idiots mislead people. There are too many gullible people out there. Politicians love to scare folk and folk believe lies.

    October 4, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Reply
    • Martin

      my insurance increased from 30 per week to 115 with a worse plan being offered. Must depend on how much of a bloodsucker your insurance company is

      October 4, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Reply
    • flatlander

      you said "company". It sounds like you are in an employer plan, not an exchange with private insurance. Are you? At $60 a year?? If that is true you are incredibly fortunate and have no idea hour lucky you are. I worked for a Fortune 500 company and paid $500 a month with high deductibles. At $50-60 year you have no idea what people are going through.

      October 5, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Reply
    • flatlander

      OR I misread it and you are in an exchange and got a huge amount of tax incentive credits to lower your premiums, which means SOMEONES went way up to pay for YOURS that went way down.

      October 5, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  41. Ram Riva

    only take a look at the current events....and the lack of control the speaker has on his own party.....easy choice....Rep Nancy Pelosi

    October 4, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  42. Monomachos

    That is answered by this question: which of the two would argue that Congress needed to first pass a massive bill with huge implications for the country in order to then be able to see what it says? The better speaker is the other one.

    October 4, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  43. Joshua

    When Pelosi took over the unemployment rate was 4.7%. Under her leadership the economy collapsed and the great recession started. O wait that was all Bushs' fault not the Democrats who controlled congress my bad.

    October 4, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Reply
    • csanch

      yeap, we were fine after Clinton

      October 4, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Reply
      • jenna

        Yea its not like Clinton created the fair housing act which allowed millions of people to get loans they couldn't afford and created the Largest housing market bubble in history that nearly sunk our country. Which created the financial crises, oh wait your still blaming bush for bailing out the banks and sparing the world economy of a crises that Clinton policies created.

        October 6, 2013 at 1:37 am |
    • Thinker

      Oh please. The democrats had to bail the do nothing republicans out, as usual. Remember deficits don't matter Cheney? That's what happened to the unemployment rate.

      October 5, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Reply

      Umm, so the collapse of the housing market, the unpaid for Iraq war and unpaid for Medicare prescription benefit was Pelosi's fault? Huh, go figure.

      October 5, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Reply
  44. lcook

    i am going to assume that how fast american people took the gavel away from nancy p would be a sign that Boehner is the better leader...

    October 4, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  45. Alice

    Punishing government workers and the economy until you get your way is not the sign of a leader but the sign of a dictator.
    Pelosi is easily the better of the two!

    October 4, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Reply
  46. ProtectAmericanJobs

    Americans need Patriotic American Leaders – NOT Party-Line-Politicians!

    Wouldn't it be More Productive if Our Elected Leaders Started Working Together as AMERICANS for AMERICANS and AMERICA, instead of just bickering, stalling and posturing for the next election as democrats and republicans! The American People have had it with this unproductive BS! The way that both parties having been operating for years just stinks! Neither party has really been looking out for the best interests of the US Citizens who elect them and who they're supposed to represent.

    Both parties have sold out the bulk of the American citizens, who they're supposed to represent, by allowing the incursion of illegal aliens and the "out-sourcing" floodgates to open wider and wider without taking any sensible measures to stem the tide.

    It shouldn't be all about Democrats or Republicans! It should be about Americans, especially our elected officials, doing the right thing for our country and its citizens. All the single-minded, left versus right, ideological one dimensional bull has got to go!

    The Citizens of the United States of America need our elected leaders from both parties to start working together to actually start trying to fix the real problems in our country like "out-sourcing", illegal immigration, the out of control costs of health care insurance and our reliance on foreign fuel. Fix them together as Americans! – Because united we'll stand, but divided we'll fall.

    October 4, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Reply
  47. A Boyd

    Congressman Boehner is 1000% better than Pelosi. Her famous words are "we must pass it before we know what
    is in it" will go down in history as a big blunder. I can't believe California keeps sending her back to Washington DC.

    October 4, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Reply
    • James

      "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it away from the fog of the controversy"

      You made a mistake on your "quote". You used the wrong pronoun and dropped a key part of te sentance. It was "you " not "we". She was explaining to the American people who are confused even now by the "the fog of controversy" (which is a diplomatic way of saying "Republican lies and myths") that they believe many things about ACA that are simply not true. "Democrats passed the bill without reading it" is another popular lie that came from this subtle change in what she actually said.

      October 6, 2013 at 3:52 am | Reply
    • James

      That's a misquote. The pronoun she used wasn't "we" and you dropped the dependent clause in the sentence.

      October 6, 2013 at 11:53 am | Reply
  48. Frank R

    As a republican and only to start following and votingthe last 10 years iI'm not a huge fan of Pelosi. These latest events to choose to shut down the gov because if a law that has 0 to do the CR has proven to me that my value to my party is not very hi. Gov shutdown for no real reason but to make head lines. Please Boehner pass CR and move on it's our party in the light of playing a game.

    October 4, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Reply
  49. Bidarshi Barua

    Ms. Nancy Pelosy is the better between two

    October 4, 2013 at 11:41 am | Reply

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