(CNSNews.com) - At a news conference on Tuesday, House Speaker John Boehner said there had been "no mocking" in his much-publicized characterization last week of House Republican colleagues who oppose legislation that would give legal status to illegal aliens.
"There was no mocking," Boehner said. "You all know me. You know, you tease the ones you love. But some people misunderstood what I had to say, and I wanted to make sure the members understood that the biggest impediment we have in moving immigration reform is that the American people don't trust the president to enforce or implement the law that we may or may not pass."
At a rotary club meeting in Cincinnati last week, Boehner was asked about immigration reform by a constituent.
"But here's the attitude," Boehner said in dramatic fashion: "Ohhhh. Don't make me do this. Ohhhh. This is too hard." His comments were first reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer.
"We get elected to make choices," Boehner told the gathering. "We get elected to solve problems and it's remarkable to me how many of my colleagues just don't want to do that. They'll take the path of least resistance."
The Wall Street Journal earlier this month reported that Boehner told a Las Vegas fundraiser that when it comes to immigration reform, he is "hellbent on getting it done this year."
After a White House meeting in February, Boehner said he'd "had a very healthy conversation on immigration" with President Obama, who insists on bringing 11 million illegal immigration "out of the shadows."