WASHINGTON -- Not only is House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) a weak leader, but if he were a woman, people would be calling him "the weakest speaker in history," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Monday.
During an interview on MSNBC's "All In With Chris Hayes," Pelosi, who served as House speaker for four years before Boehner took over, was asked point-blank if she thinks Boehner is a weak speaker.
"I will say this about John Boehner, and I have a good relationship" with him, Pelosi said. "If he were a woman, they'd be calling him the weakest speaker in history."
She said Boehner deserves that title because House Republican leaders "have never been able to pass anything without our coming to the rescue." The one exception to that rule, she said, is the GOP's "nasty" and "unprincipled" budgets.
"You know what, if a woman was speaker and nothing was happening in this way, they'd say, 'Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh,'" Pelosi said. "I'm just getting a little, shall we say, tired of some of the ways they take a pass on some and not on others. We get criticized for accomplishing things. They don't get criticized for not accomplishing things."
A request for comment from Boehner's office was not immediately returned.
It's true that Boehner has relied on Democrats to pass nearly all major bills out of the House this year. There are nine enacted bills and joint resolutions so far in this session of Congress. Of those, Boehner violated the so-called Hastert Rule -- an informal requirement that a majority of the majority supports a bill in order to bring it to a vote -- four times to get them passed. Those bills include the fiscal cliff deal, Hurricane Sandy aid, the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization bill and a bill relating to federal acquisition of historic sites.