“We’re in the middle, I think, of a political rebellion going on in America,” House Majority Leader John Boehner said on CNN’s State of the Union, ”And this rebellion is by people who really have not been actively involved in the political process and they don’t really care if you’re a Democrat or a Republican. They want to see people who are going to stand up and protect the future for our kids and grandkids.”
Boehner also told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King that Republicans will have “a difficult road to walk to work with relatively new entrants into the political system to show them, that by and large, we are the party that represents their interests.”
But Boehner also tried to downplay the significance of Saturday’s surprise announcement by moderate Republican Dede Scozzafava who decided to bow out of a hotly contested three-way race in New York’s 23rd Congressional District.
“This is a pretty unusual situation,” Boehner said of the decision by conservative Republican Doug Hoffman to run against Scozzafava on the Conservative Party ticket in Tuesday’s special election. “Clearly,” Boehner observed, [Scozzafava] would be on the left side of our party.”
Notwithstanding that GOP civil war that brewed in New York’s 23rd district until Scozzafava’s announcement Saturday, the leading House Republican said his party still casts a big, welcome tent to all those who would call themselves Republican.
“We accept moderates in our party. We want moderates in our party. We cover a wide range of Americans,” the Ohio Republican told King.
“What we need is . . . a broad group of people in our party,” Boehner said, rejecting King’s suggestion that the conservative attacks on Scozzafava and support for Hoffman might be a shot over the bow to more moderate would-be Republican candidates especially in New England.
And Boehner appeared to concede Sunday that the growing political power of the conservative grassroots is placing stress on his party.
The House Minority Leader said he was “a big believer” of former President Ronald Reagan’s edict that Republicans should “never talk ill about another Republican.”
“That was not followed in this race,” King said of the Scozzafava-Hoffman battle.
“I know,” Boehner bluntly replied.