Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel blasted GOP leadership at a Chicago Ideas Week talk with Meet the Press host David Gregory Tuesday, hours after House Republicans canceled a planned vote to resolve the debt and budget crises.
“I think Republicans have done more to damage the Republican party than Democrats ever could,” he said. “We were never that good.”
He was particularly critical of Speaker John Boehner, who once again failed to corral enough Republican support for his own plan to to resolve the funding impasse.
“I dont know if John Boehner has the capacity as a leader to tell Republicans, We need to change or else we will lose,” he said, adding that Newt Gingrich was far better at the job, “even on his worst days.”
Emanuel also addressed how he’d handle the situation were he still serving as White House Chief of Staff. “I would be planning January and February [right now], not the next 48 hours,” he said. “I think the Republicans in the House have already capitulated, and that’s how that will play out.”
Other speakers at the discussion — attended by roughly 2,000 people at Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theater — echoed Emanuel’s frustration with the GOP.
“This is a self-inflicted political crisis,” said Steve Schmidt, the Republican campaign strategist, noting that it’s no wonder the GOP is experiencing “the fastest free fall since Felix Baumgartner.”