In an appearance on "Fox News Sunday" over the weekend, House Minority Leader John Boehner suggested that now is not the time to talk about finding solutions to vast problems that continue to plague the country.
"It's time for us as Americans to have an adult conversation with each other about the serious challenges our country faces. And we can't have that serious conversation until we lay out the size of the problem," explained Boehner to FNC host Chris Wallace. "Now, once Americans understand how big the problem is, then we can begin to talk about potential solutions."
The remarks from the ranking Republican came in response to questions about potential shortcomings some have identified in the "Pledge to America" manifesto that the House GOP unveiled last week.
Here's the exchange that then went down:
WALLACE: But forgive me, sir. I mean, isn't the right time to have the adult conversation now before the election when you have this document? Why not make a single proposal to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid?
BOEHNER: Chris, this is what happens here in Washington. When you start down that path, you just invite all kinds of problems. I know. I've been there. I think we need to do this in a more systemic way and have this conversation first. Let's not get to the potential solutions. Let's make sure Americans understand how big the problem is. Then we can begin to talk about possible solutions and then work ourselves into those solutions that are doable.
But, a press release posted on Boehner's House website characterizes the "Pledge" as "a new governing agenda." It quotes the Ohio Republican as saying:
'A Pledge to America' offers a new way forward that hasn't been tried in Washington: an approach focused on cutting spending instead of accelerating spending, and eliminating uncertainty for the private-sector innovators and entrepreneurs who create jobs. These are the solutions the American people are demanding, and Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid should act on them before Congress adjourns for the fall."
Despite the hype surrounding the "Pledge" prior to its debut, some big name Republicans have since reacted to its contents with a less than enthusiastic response.
Possible 2012 Republican presidential contender Mike Huckabee said he liked the document, but added, "I just wish there were a couple of things that would've been the 'Wow' type elements to the pledge that could've made it even stronger."
Similarly, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who's made no secret he's mulling a White House bid, told the Daily Caller that the "Pledge" from the House GOP "is a significant boost for them, but it is not a homerun."