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. Terry from West Texas

    The last Conservative who ever had an original thought was Barry Goldwater. Boehner is just expressing Barry's old "hidden voter" theory, that Republicans were not winning because the Conservative voters were never presented with a decent Conservative candidate to vote for. He tried out his theory in 1964 and lost in a landslide to "Landslide" Lyndon Johnson.

    These rowdy and vocal Conservatives are being roused up and stoked up by BIG CONSERVATIVE MONEY. There are think tanks, "not for profit" civic groups, and (I speculate) hundreds of highly paid political operatives out in the boondocks rousing up the hayseeds and filling their heads full of lies about "death panels" or "Medicare is being destroyed" or "they are going to take your insurance away from you" etc. These emotional, vocal, and naive citizens gullibly believe all of this nonsense.

    The goal is to defeat anything and everything. Obama must fail, from the point of view of the global corporations that prefer corporate governance of our political institutions to democratic governance. Our nation is being hijacked – and not by Conservatism. It is being stolen from us by the Conservative leaders who work for our corporate leadership.

    November 1, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  2. Bridget

    Boehner is just trying to fan the flames of his base. So laughable that he's throwing around a word like "rebellion". He's so transparent. It's like when Bush used the word "crusade" to describe the military's efforts in Iraq. Poor choice of words that were chosen on purpose to create a certain feeling and perception about what's going on. Hopefully, the smarter and more moderate GOPers will keep the extremist "rebels" in their party from taking total control.

    November 1, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  3. zac

    White superiority- Birth: 6000 years ago. Death: November 4, 2008. The death of white superiority became official on January 20, 2009. May it rest in pieces.

    November 1, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  4. vic nashville , Tn

    If republicans follow Pailn ,Rush, Sean and Glen they may win the Taliban and Al –Qaida votes

    Hi John King did you check paper bundle in front of you for me its look like criminal report against Cheney

    November 1, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  5. Denali King

    Wow Cnn. You named "House Majority Leader John Boehner said on CNN’s State of the Union" as the majority leader in the House. I bet Nancy is not happy. You must be trying to plant in the minds of Americans that what is tearing our country apart is because of the Republicans. Tuesday. We take back America for our childern and our childrens' children.

    November 1, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  6. Jack in Florida

    Moderate Republicans need to overthrow the right wing nut jobs that have hijacked the party if the Republicans ever want to rebuild their party with a solid, truthful voice.

    November 1, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  7. reggie from la

    Golly, it's Mr "children and grandchildren" (C & GC) again. He loves parentage and fiscal conservatism...when it suits him politically. Where was he (and the others, of course) when C & GCs" futures were being mortgaged off in wars and fiscal irresponsibility starting 8 years ago? This is not a Bush-blame, it's blame for the hypocrites who HAVE BEEN politically adept over those years and who didn't show much concern for C & GC. I must admit, using childrens' futures in this way does create some weird ethos among the ignorant and forgetful. Well done. I can see it is working based on some responses. The greater the furor, the better chance of success in the polls where good leadership has been non-existent.

    November 1, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  8. Maine dude

    So... acording to this article, Boehner is the House MAJORITY leader. So either he's actually a Democrat or the Republicans have a secret majority in the House. CNN: America's "most trusted" news source... sans fact checking and proof readers. If they're the most trusted, God help us all.

    November 1, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  9. Pat F

    Obama better start house-hunting – one and DONE for that American-hater. Maybe he could earn a living on an endless apology tour – I'm sure LOTS of old-Europers would line up for it. And it would be a hit in the Moslem countries. Yale or Harvard would sponsor it, for sure!

    But 99.9% of Americans have already had a bellyful of this guy and his Socialist, anti-American, anti-prosperity, condescending elitism.

    November 1, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  10. USA HELP

    Boehner is a big-mouthed fool and only a republican talking head. The Republicans never have anything constructive to offer, we talk about jobs. What are republicans doing to help the economy with jobs except saying we don’t need government help. What are the republican doing about health care except saying it’s not the government responsibility. Well Mr. Boehner I say to you I DO PAY TAXES and the government is a part of that process, we need elected officials who want to help if not you NEED to RESIGN. Step out of the way and allow someone to do their part.

    November 1, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  11. Bryan

    Its pretty clear most of the people posting here don't understand the people they are bashing.

    I'm not a right wing nut. I'm not racist, I'm not a bible thumper.

    I love this country and think that most of our elected officials and currupt and working for thier own betterment.

    Persoanly I think Abortion is wrong especially if the baby could live on its own (6 months or so), I think that govenment ruins about eveything it controls....wait until your doctor works for the post office. I think that this nation feels it is entitlied to free everything and that we are in for a RUDE awakening if we dont get out financial house in order. I think that our guide in times of trouble should be our founding fathers. I think that the redistrubution of wealth and "social" justice is unamerican.

    I guess its easier to call me names then debate me

    November 1, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  12. S M R

    Anyone in the middle class that votes Republican needs Their HEADS EXAMINED!!! It's just like throwing away the AMERICAN DREAM.

    November 1, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  13. Rob

    Boehner is correct. the 40% majority of Americans in the middle of the two 30% extremes that have always been more vocal are FED COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY UP with diehard democrats and diehard republicans. Not one of those in the 30% speak for us, and we are the best part of America. Come 2010 and 2012, we will finally have our way, I pray and I hope, because the two extremes have broken this once great nation and brought us to our hands and our knees. I don't care for Obama or Bush. I want statesmen and stateswomen who care more about America than their blessed parties, and we have very few of those waiting in the wings, but those few are multiplying daily, and we're going to take back our nation. You can bank on that, without a stiumulus plan.

    November 1, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  14. Lindy Wren

    Is John Boehner kidding? The republicans spent like drunken sailors for 8 years and he's lecturing us on "fiscal responsibility". And I love how he tells us that we are putting this debt on our grandchildren. Well, I'm 62 years old, and Bush and the Boehner crowd put the deficit on our grandchildren years ago.

    November 1, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. kww

    The Republicans have "rebelled" themselves into a corner with their orchestrated "astro-turf" Tea Parties. Keep it up McConnell, Boehner, Beck, Rush and so on. You're going to rebell yourselves into political obscurity as a footnote in the American History books just like the Whigs.

    Go ahead. Make my day !

    November 1, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  16. DR BLANK

    Yes, lets continue down the path of Goverment taking care of all our needs...lets just worry about what we are going to do on Saturday nights..regardless of party,you will witness the political landscape change come next year...everyone I have spoken to Dem or Rep..are sick of Washington.. and that should be the issue, not Dems against everyone else.

    November 1, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. Suzan

    If the repbulicans want to throw their votes to the right wing conservative than they are throwing their votes down the drain, because the majority of this country is not right wing conservatives ..... and we will not let them take over this country.......

    November 1, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  18. Pappy

    The only rebellion is against Boehner and the other boneheads in the GOP. What a bunch of nut jobs, they continue to embarass themselves and our nation with their diarrehea of the mouth.

    November 1, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  19. Peter Vaguely

    This is a political species that is on the road to extinction. They are beginning to eat their own kind.

    November 1, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  20. Jim Bob

    Boehner is a shameless obstructionist and an embarrassment to us in Ohio.

    November 1, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. Aaron P

    That idiot, John Boehner, is not, and will not ever be the House "Majority Leader". Just wanted to correct your article. Hey "Part of No"!!! Where is your plan? You don't have one! So sit down, and shut the hell up!

    November 1, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  22. fred wheeler

    If I wonted the no sayers slant on the news I would turn on fox not cnn. you need to replace King.

    November 1, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  23. cm

    I see this as an insult to Regan's Tent. History shows us that Regan understood the Tent; he reached out to moderates and disaffected Democrats. These type of bloody races will divide the republicans and eventually further anger at the goverment. The republicans are so irate over 08 they appear to want to eat their own. If you want to rebuild your party do so with respect to our country. What if all congressional elections turned into this national terror. My state is Red; you would and did take this state. Stay out with the Republican ego.

    November 1, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  24. kuriya

    sure it will be a political rebellion when the time comes. With all this hate going on. Keep it up.

    November 1, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  25. PJ

    Article is not really very clear– badly written and confusing–also a few editorial blunders, e.g., House Majority Leader?

    November 1, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
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