Here’s Boehner’s spokesman on why he opened the door to ending oil subsidies:
“He simply wasn’t going to take the bait and fall into the trap of defending ‘Big Oil’ companies,” Steel said. “Boehner believes, as he stated in the interview, that expanding American energy production will help lower gas prices and create more American jobs. We’ll look at any reasonable policy that lowers gas prices. Unfortunately, what the president has suggested so far would simply raise taxes and increase the price at the pump.”
The president proposed cutting subsidies to oil companies yesterday, because Boehner said it was “something we ought to be looking at” in an interview on Monday. Boehner opened that door, and Obama walked right in. Since Republicans have no intention of ever causing an oil company pain, Boehner’s statement would normally be called a “gaffe”.
Fortunately for Boehner, the current narrative is that he is a savvy insider, so his inability to elude a simple question is missed, and the stupidity of his press guy’s defense goes unremarked. Boehner certainly didn’t fall into the trap of defending Big Oil — instead, he walked into the trap of entertaining the possibility that Big Oil might actually pay a dollar of taxes someday.