Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) warned fellow Republicans this week, saying President Barack Obama's inaugural address had convinced him that the president was undertaking an effort to "annihilate" the GOP.
"Given what we heard yesterday about the president's vision for his second term, it's pretty clear to me -- should be clear to all of you -- that he knows he can't do any of that as long as the House is controlled by Republicans," Boehner said during a speech at the Ripon Society on Tuesday. "So we're expecting over the next 22 months to be the focus of this administration as they attempt to annihilate the Republican Party."
Boehner continued, claiming that the broader goal of the administration was "to just shove us into the dustbin of history."
HuffPost's Sam Stein reported at the time:
The president’s supporters and even casual defenders will, undoubtedly, cheer this second inaugural address in a way that they never fully did the first -- a lofty, historic but somewhat unmemorable speech. His critics will take it as affirmation of a liberal agenda that they’ve often warned is coming once the burdens of reelection are gone.
Those reactions are predictable and, ultimately, disposable. What matters more is the extent to which the president acts upon the vision he outlined. The second inaugural address showcased an unapologetic president. Time will tell if Monday was just a few lines in a speech or a new, dedicated mindset for the nation's leader.
While some on the left were energized by Obama's tone, Republican lawmakers criticized the speech as overly partisan, as well as a sign that gridlock and obstruction are destined to prevail in Washington. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) decried the address during a press conference on Tuesday.
"One thing is clear from the president's speech: The era of liberalism is back. His unabashedly far-left-of-center inaugural speech certainly brings back memories of the Democratic Party in ages past," McConnell said. "If the president pursued that kind of agenda, obviously it's not designed to bring us together, and certainly not designed to deal with the transcendent issue of our era, which is deficits and debt."
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