November 1st, 2009
01:43 PM ET
4 years ago

Top Republican sounds off on 'political rebellion'


Washington (CNN) – Trying to explain successful efforts by conservatives to topple the Republican establishment’s pick to run in an upstate New York congressional special election, a leading Republican said Sunday that he thinks the country is in the midst of a “political rebellion” driven largely by people who have not previously been vocal in the political process.

“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.


Filed under: GOP • John Boehner • NY-23 • Popular Posts • State of the Union
soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. Please go deeper!

    Boehner is embarrassing. I wish that I could vote him out. I do not want him representing my state!

    November 1, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  2. kevintexas

    I'm done with the republican party. They continue to push us moderates out of the Party. I'm done, call me a Democrat now.

    November 1, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  3. Jefe

    So I could be completely opposed to Conservative ideals and support such ideas as massive debt-spending, corporate welfare, foreign interventionist wars, government control over personal life decisions, encouragement of illegal immigration, and others, but call myself a Republican and I'm welcome in?!?...so that's how the Neocons did it!

    November 1, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  4. IVOTE

    So this is how the republican party will be defined in the coming elections. They are proving to the voters they do not have principals or concrete ideas on how to make this country a better place for ALL and will follow whoever or whatever is popular for the day. I predict a great loss for the republican party in the elections to come. This country will not retreat to the dark ages. It has come to far.

    November 1, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  5. Cindy

    Scozzafava just endorsed her Democratic opponent, not her fellow Republican. Yup, there's definitely a rebellion going on....

    November 1, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  6. Brian, Albany NY

    "New entrants" my foot! These are the same Bush-voting loons who have been electing Republican presidents since Nixon introduced his "Southern Strategy."

    November 1, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  7. Scott

    As long as people like Bush, Cheney, Limbaugh, and you Boehner trying to destroy this great nation, the people is going to get more involved in politics who you would not think would get invovled. We need to vote these people out of office who gives into special interests that is not out for the middle working class Americans. Most of the Republicans and some Democrats is blinded by profit and greed, just look at energy and gas prices starting to rise, but you don't see the legislative or the executive branches of government doing nothing about it.

    November 1, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  8. coinier

    He is clueless.....,

    November 1, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. Philip Dow

    It's pretty clear the Republican party is destroying itself. I suspect they will lose miserably in midterms and again to Obama in 2012. Which is fine by me. Curiously enough it has demagogues like Limbaugh, Beck and Hannity to thank for it.

    On the other hand, this will end up pulling the whole country right. When one of two parties is running extreme candidates, the other has to move in their direction to pick up the outcast moderates. Democrats will need to become more conservative to woo the disaffected middle of the road conservatives. This is unfortunate. The US is already one of the most conservative countries in the world, and you can see where that's gotten us.

    November 1, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. milo janu

    I like how Boehner described the situation as he did, all the while he endorsed the moderate who bailed out.

    Oh, and 70,000 teabaggers in DC isn't a rebellion. Hundreds of thousands took over DC many times protesting the war.

    I like what's going on though. The country is more diverse than ever before, and the GOP is moving in the opposite direction.

    November 1, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. Lisa

    Boehner? Please. Wasn't Joe the Plumber available. He's about as informed as MR. Boehner.

    November 1, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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