Rep. Boehner: 'I'm Open to the President's Ideas'

The Republican leader told me that he is "open" to the president's tax cut proposals --- but he also had a few ideas of his own.

Rep. Boehner called for bipartisan cooperation on two new proposals: First, to pass a spending bill now at the 2008 level and second, to extend the current tax rates for two years.

"What that will do is help small businesses who have no clue what the coming tax rates are going to be. It gives them some certainty and if we’re able to do this together, I think we’ll show the American people that we understand what’s going on in the country and we’ll be able to get our economy moving again," Boehner told me.

The President has made it clear that he does not support extending the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans – but Boehner said now is not the time to worry about the deficit.

“You can’t have a stronger economy if you’re raising taxes on the very people you expect to invest in our economy to begin hiring people again,” he said.

The Ohio Congressman also weighed in on Pastor Terry Jones’ call to burn Korans on September 11. Boehner echoed Gen. Petraeus and Sec. Clinton by saying Jones' decision is “unwise.”

“Just because you have a right to do something in America does not mean it is the right thing to do. We are a nation of religious freedom, we’re also a nation of tolerance,” Boehner said. “I think in the name of tolerance people ought to really think about the kind of actions they’re taking.”

Should the GOP win back the House in November – Boehner said it is certainly “possible” that he would become Speaker.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do. That’s our goal though, to earn back the majority so we can renew our efforts to try for a smaller, less costly and more accountable government,” he told me.

I also asked the potential Speaker what he thought about a recent poll about his tan. 30% of Ohio voters said Boehner spent too much time on his tan while 27% said they do not like it.

“They probably weren’t there yesterday when I was out cutting my grass or when I was out riding my mountain bike,” he told me.

Watch my interview with Rep. Boehner and then tell me what you think below.

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-- George Stephanopoulos

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