In a wide-ranging interview that aired Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner made a claim that's likely to astonish many members of the Tea Party.
"I was the Tea Party before there was a Tea Party," Boehner said, responding to a question from Fox News Channel's Bret Baier about whether he could keep the GOP united.
"I understand their concerns, I understand their frustrations," the speaker continued. "But we have a Constitution that we abide by and we're going to live by it. And that means we have separate, equal branches of government. And whether people like it or not, Barack Obama is going to be the president for the next two years."
WATCH: Boehner: 'I was the Tea Party before there was a Tea Party' (remarks around 12 minute mark):
"We've got to find a way to hold him accountable and try to find common ground to get things done on behalf of the American people," Boehner concluded.
In the 12-minute interview, the Speaker also touched on several other issues, including his invitation for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress.
When asked if he was surprised by the recent pushback, Boehner responded, "No, not really."
"I believe that the prime minister of Israel has a strong voice. He believes that the threat of the Iranians having a nuclear weapon is a very serious threat," the speaker added.
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