TOM KLUDT – OCTOBER 18, 2013, 11:04 AM EDT17628
In explaining the origins of the first government shutdown since 1996, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) reportedly admitted to President Barack Obama earlier this month that he was "overrun" by his Republican caucus.
“John, what happened?” Obama asked Boehner on the second day of the shutdown, according to Politico.
“I got overrun, that’s what happened,” Boehner replied as he reportedly tried to exit a White House meeting for a smoke break.
Democrats repeatedly questioned Bohener's clout over Republican House members throughout the budget and debt standoff, arguing that the speaker capitulates too often to conservatives on Capitol Hill.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Boehner has become a "puppet — with Ted Cruz pulling the strings," while Obama said the speaker's inability to "control his caucus" contributed to the impasse.