TODAY | February 13, 2013
>>> of the house john boehner at a place called pete's diner, his favorite breakfast spot steps away from the capitol. i asked him about tough comments he made on tuesday, saying he didn't believe the president had the guts to stand up to his own party in an effort to tackle the nation's toughest problems.
>> what i is suggested during the debt talks is that the president didn't have the courage to take on members of his own party. the president knows we have a serious spending problem, a structural debt problem that needs to be resolved but there were issues we had agreed upon in the summer of 2011 that once we got to december of 2012 weren't even on the table anymore.
>> but when you say he doesn't have the guts to stand up to his own party, mr. speaker, couldn't you face that same accusation from democrats?
>> listen, i've had my troubles with my own party, there's no question about it. but it was never about the courage to step up and do the right thing for the country.
>> and by calling the president of the united states out in such harsh terms today, on the day of the state of the union address, and questioning his guts and questioning his courage, and he's going to walk into that chamber tonight, hand you a copy of his speech and he's going to stand in front of you and people are going to be watching your face throughout that entire speech. a lot of people are going to say, here we go. same old division. same old animosity. don't they have a right to say that?
>> no. listen, the president and i get along fine. we do. we have a very good relationship. we come from very different --
>> is this all politics, the questions you raise today?
>> we come from very different worlds. he has a liberal ideology. i come from the more conservative side. having said that, american people on election day gave us a mandate, republican congress and democratic president and the mandate was to find a way to work together, find common ground.
>> if there seems to be an area where there's a glimmer of hope of cooperation, it's on immigrati immigration. we had eight senators, four from each side of the aisle, come up with a plan. neither side really gets what they want in this. isn't that the way american people want it?
>> yes. that's why i've had four or five republicans sit with four or five democrats for years, working on issues of immigration. what i've been trying to do is foster this bipartisan conversation on immigration reform , both legal and illegal immigration . i would hope that the senate players could continue to work in a bipartisan fashion. that's the only way we're going to be able to address the big issues that face our country.
>> sharing this idea of not everybody getting what they want and taking it down the road. will you bring a bill to the floor of the house even if you don't think you'll get a support of the majority of people in your party, but if you do think that, working with democrats, you'll get it accomplished? will you do that?
>> i've done it before.
>> will you do that on immigrati immigration?
>> i've done it twice. we'll have to see what the bill is. we have to work through this in a bipartisan way. we can't get the cart before the horse and begin to try to resolve this.
>> if it meant accepting, on your part, a pathway to citizenship to get it done, would you pursue it?
>> let's not assume the outcome. let's allow this conversation to occur, get members working together, expand their group and hopefully we'll have a bi dls bipartisan solution to what's a very difficult problem.
>> there seems to be enormous support for a way to curb gun violence in this country. people talk about better mental health screenings. they talk about getting violence out of our culture, pop culture , movies, tv, videos that kids are playing and a lot of people think that you've also got to go and put limits and further restrictions on gun ownership and guns in this country. are restrictions like that part of any comprehensive effort to curb gun violence ?
>> all our hearts go out to the victims of these tragedies around our country. i would hope that we would take a broader look at this. the violence in our society. where does it come from? if you look at each of these mass shootings, each of the shooters all had mental health issues. how can we do a better job there of controlling their access to weapons? what do we do about school safety? there are a lot of things we need to look at.
>> how do you feel about putting armed guards in schools?
>> there are a lot of ideas out there. the question is, what will truly help bring down the violence in our society? i think taking this easy approach and trying to put more rules on lawful gun owners -- remember, they're lawful gun owners . the people who own guns illegally, they don't pay attention anyway.
>> we'll have more of our interview with the speaker a little later in the show.