Boehner on proposed large soft drink ban: ‘Are you kidding me?’

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) did not parse his words to register opposition to the New York City mayor’s proposal to ban Big Gulps from the Big Apple.

“I likeMayor [Michael] Bloomberg, but are you kidding me?” Boehner said Friday. “C’mon, don’t we have bigger issues to deal with than the size of some soft drink that somebody buys?”

Bloomberg famously announced this week his intent to ban super-sized sugary drinks from the city, saying he wants to limit serving sizes to 16 ounces.

Bloomberg has said his intent isn’t to stop New Yorkers from drinking as much sugary sodas or such as they like, but just to nudge them to start thinking about how much they consume. Americans’ consumption of sugary drinks has skyrocketed, studies show, filling stomachs with what critics say are empty calories that play a role in the nation’s obesity crisis.


Limiting the size, Bloomberg reasoned, would force those wanting more soda to go back for a second helping, rather than just slurping up what’s in front of them.

Libertarians, and simpatico Republicans, have not been pleased at the government intrusion into private decisions.

Boehner’s response was not quite his trademark “Hell, no!” But it might as well have been.