Newly elected Speaker of the US House of Representatives, John Boehner, was questioned by NBC News correspondent Brian Williams. Here’s the relevant section:
Williams: I’m curious as to how much responsibility you feel specifically because of something that happened this morning. During the reading of the Constitution, Congressman Frank Pallone of New Jersey, was reading a portion of the document, interrupted by someone who heckled from within the chamber. It was to express doubt over the president’s American citizenship. Provided you believe the president is an American citizen, you’ve got 12 members co-sponsoring legislation that does about the same thing, it expresses doubt. Would you be willing to say, “This is a distraction, I’ve looked at it to my satisfaction. Let’s move on”?
Boehner: The state of Hawaii has said that President Obama was born there. That’s good enough for me.
Williams: Would you be willing to say that message to the 12 members in your caucus who seem to either believe otherwise or are willing to express doubt and have co-sponsored legislation?
Boehner: Brian, when you come to the Congress of the United States, there are 435 of us. We’re nothing more than a slice of America. People come, regardless of party labels, they come with all kinds of beliefs and ideas. Uh it’s, it’s the melting pot of America. It’s not up to me to tell them what to think.
On most matters, it is the job of the leader of the party to keep the members in line. At least in public Speaker Boehner seems content to let his nut-case colleagues do their own thing.