Q: How about that insurrection — doesn’t that prove that Boehner is a weak leader who can’t control his caucus?

LaTourette: I think it’s ridiculous. They should kick them all out of the Republican conference. The picture in Politico of a sitting Republican member of Congress on the floor with an iPad showing a screen with a whip count to deny the Republicans the speakership of the House is asinine. This is what I’m talking about: These guys are OK when it comes to ideology and dogma, but they don’t have a clue how to participate in the legislative process.

I don’t know what their objective is. If it was to deny the speakership to Boehner and hand it to Mrs. Pelosi, I don’t know how their cause would have been furthered. If it’s to force the vote to a second ballot to make some demands, well, who the hell do these people think they are? Twelve out of 233, and they’re making demands? That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard…

Q: What do you think the future holds for the House Republicans?

LaTourette: It’s a mess. I’m an optimist — I do hope that when they go down to their retreat these guys take it seriously when Boehner says, ‘Listen, we’ve got to get to 218 votes.’ These people have to be willing to sit down and find a bill that gets 218 Republican votes. But I really don’t see it coming. I don’t.

Boehner can’t be a leader if he doesn’t have guys behind him to lead. But I do know that he thinks this deficit and debt problem is just going to eat up the country. If anybody would meet him halfway or even a little less than halfway in the White House or the Senate, he would put his speakership at risk to make the big deal.