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. Randall Munroe

    > “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 ...

    We sure are, if John Boehner is suddenly the House Majority Leader.

    November 1, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  2. Welcome to Rome two.

    Republicans hate Cops policing Wall Street.It means they cant get away with all the lying scams and products.

    November 1, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  3. The Great Thinker

    Boner is an idiot. The Repukes are finally realize they could never win anything again with only the right wing whack nut jobs they currently have in their sad party.

    The Dems better soon realize that they can't win anything with only Wall Street Executives, Bank Executives and Billionaires votes.

    I say throw ALL THE BUMS THAT ARE UP FOR RE-ELECTION OUT IN 2010, REGARDLESS OF PARTY!

    November 1, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. ThinkForYourselves

    Republican? Democrat? Moderates? Forget them all! DOWN WITH POLITICAL PARTIES! MAKE EVERYONE CAMPAIGN AND SERVE AS AN INDEPENDENT. Political parties have proven themsleves over and over to be counter-productive to life, liberty, freedom, and the pursuit of happines in America. DOWN WITH POLITICAL PARTIES!

    November 1, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  5. katiec

    The party of NOthing continues to ignore the American people.
    We do not want and will not accept those who belong to radical religious right make decisions on behalf of us or our country.
    Many hide behind religion while inciting hate, anger, fear mongering and divisions of our country, spewing lies, distortions and sewer tactics. This is a far cry from the Chrisitanity I grew up with.
    The GOP never has and never will put the welfare of the American
    people over their undying support for big business.

    November 1, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  6. Kevin

    He's house minority leader. C'mon now.

    November 1, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  7. kimberly

    No they DONT want moderates, they want hate mongering, FEAR baiting, racist, anti choice, anti gay, anti NON Christian, anti Jew, anti poor, anti AMERICANS running this country and it will NEVER happen! The republican party has jumped the shark, MY FRIENDS. Its over. You have let the wingnuts get too loud THINKING it would help, and look what happened you now have the lunatics running the asylum. THIS is the exact climate that grows people like palin and beck, they HATE Americans and they are NOW your party leaders. Sorry boys, your out, and you will NOT be back anytime soon, except in states like alabamba, mississippi, and virginia. I think its funny a right wing LOON thinks he has a shot in New York. I have a feeling De De stepped down to prove that you people have lost your minds! She and the rest of country KNOW a loon like him has NO shot there....Too many people with brains in NY.

    November 1, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  8. ThinkForYourselves

    Haha, Randall. I was wondering if I was the only one who caught that.

    November 1, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. Rosebud

    The Grand Ol Party, may it rest in peace ;)~

    November 1, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  10. John From Brooklyn, NY

    Sadly, Boehner doesn't get it. The rebelion – if there even is one – is not being directed by the American people. Instead, it is being carefully orchestrated by the radical fundamentalist Christian and neo-con elite of the Republican Party. Rush, Fox News, Murdoch, Cato Institute, etc. are not organic, grass roots movements....they are a carefully orchestrated misinformation and ideology cabal.

    November 1, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  11. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    "Notwithstanding that GOP civil war that brewed in New York’s 23rd district until Scozzafava’s announcement Saturday, the leading House Republican (John Boehner) said his party still casts a big, welcome tent to all those who would call themselves Republican."

    I'm not sure this will get through, but as they used to say, "so long as you're 'free white and 21' (or older)."

    November 1, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  12. Reality

    As long as those who call them republicans are small minded, hate filled, bigotted, racist anti-american anti-middle class southern white males and bat-crap crazy fundies. Otherwise, big tent.

    November 1, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  13. victim of republican greed

    Why on Earth would anyone think that the birthers would let any moderate in the party of "No hope?'

    November 1, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  14. Chris

    What we want to see are 'programs' that encourage business to hire those who are without work. We also want to see political leaders 'lead' in getting people off of welfare programs and that would include their plans of 'giving' healthcare to those who are on welfare. It's time to end all of the money we've spent improving the lives of those who are descendants of slavery. They've been paid with their freedom and enough financial aid to have removed their names from the welfare list. Some have done so, but many think that's a pretty good way of life. It's up to our politicians to end this way of thinking. Get to work Congress and work TOGETHER to remove this anchor of dead weight from the necks of the working people who have made this country.

    November 1, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  15. Jim

    Boehner is no idiot. He's just mis-informed. The so called "rebellion" is being spurred on by his party in thehopes that they can ride it to a wipe-out of the Dems in the next mid-term election. They have roused these people by spreading lies and half-truths in order to get some sort of support, which they realized after the last election they didn't have. But, be careful what you wish for. These same people will bite your backside if you don't give them what they want. And they want things their way. They should fit right into the Republican agenda until the Republicans get in power again and then start paying more attention to the corporate interests than the voters.

    November 1, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  16. Estamm

    There was a political rebellion in this country. The uprising happened in November of 2008, and it delivered a powerful message to Boner's party.

    November 1, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  17. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    Forcing the "moderate" republican out to be replaced by another neo-con Fable Following "christian" in this republican domain for over a hundred years, will only empower the followers of Saint Sarah of the Silly to believe they have a chance of winning in a national general election.

    So, keep striving for "purity" by shrinking the base(your already down from 21% to 20%) so that eventually, it will be the size of a revival tent.

    God, hear my prayer.

    November 1, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  18. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Rebellion within the Republican Party is the only thing Boehner is right about, we Democrats are strong and will stick together. I see the Republicans haven't learned anything from the election of our President when the American people spoke, all they are good for is to sprew hate and divide. No politician should speak about rebellion in this U.S., the Civil War is over.

    November 1, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  19. paul

    I think the real political "rebellion"–defined by the participation of those who typically have not participated–took place November.

    November 1, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  20. nathan

    sisne when is booher the House Majority leader, am I in a nightmare or something.This not funny!!!

    November 1, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. David in Chicago

    I love the comment, in particular, that "We accept moderates in our party. We want moderates in our party. We cover a wide range of Americans".

    No you don't, John. That statement, like Orrin Hatch's saying that Demorcats "MIssed a chance to have a real bi-partisan debate" on health care, is an outright lie.

    IF the Republicans were anywhere NEAR a big tent party, they wouldn't have even thought to send in the armada to the NY 23rd district...they'd have thrown in everything they have to help the Republican they already had win.

    The talking out of both sides of the mouth is getting so ridiculous, even some Republicans are getting embarrassed. But not very many, and they probably won't be around long either, until the party is as full of fanatics as Al-Quada. They're headed there fast.

    November 1, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  22. Big John

    Of course they think we're in a rebellion, they're not in power

    November 1, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  23. Silicon Valley Man

    Successful political parties seek converts. Reagan was successful in attracting Democrats; Obama was successful in attracting enough independents and Republicans to win a landslide.

    Unsuccessful parties burn heretics. That's what the Republicans are doing.

    Ever wonder why only 20% of Americans identify themselves as Republicans? Now you know.

    November 1, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  24. katiec

    Does regrouping mean that since they are on their way to becoming our countries most dangerous domestic terrorists, they will come out
    in full force to make it so??

    November 1, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  25. kilchis

    The interference from Sarah,Rush and Beck in this election prompted me to donate to Owen through MoveOn.

    November 1, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8