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. rob vukovic

    Why doesn't John King or Wolf Blitzer ask guys like Boehner to discuss the GOP office holder demographics across the boards? few if any people of color or women and all political levels. As an example, there are lacks or Blacks or Hispanics in congress or senate that I am aware of. The highest ranking Republican official is the moron running their party.

    November 1, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  2. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    I was a member of the GOP for 27 Years here in Upstate NY. The only time the Republicains would talk to us was for a donation, they never asked for ours needs or concerns, basically they knew what was best for me and I'll just take it. Well we not going to take it anymore. I want represenitives who understand that this nation is a Republic, I want representation who considers the constitution first not the majority of the polls.
    End the Wars....
    And End the Fed!

    November 1, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  3. John

    I was a moderate Republican until this week. It has been made abundantly clear to me in the NY 23 race that moderates are not welcome in the Republican party. That is fine, I don't need the Republican party, but it desperately needs me and all like me. In the future I will vote for the party that still welcomes moderates, the Democrats. It is shameful and disgraceful what has become of the Grand Old Party, I am embarassed to tell anyone I am or was a Republican.

    November 1, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. hampster

    Hope these new entrants into the political process do not take John Boehner's comment; "We (republicans) are the party that repressents their interest", to seriously. Matter of fact the statement is laughable.

    November 1, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  5. Rick from Portland

    Just one more thing to add to the Bush-Cheney "Legacy" – the ultimate demise of the Republican party. First they were the party of NO, now they're the party of no one cares, next up party of no one home

    November 1, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  6. RAH

    Boner please give it a rest with your tired rhectoric.

    John King I here Fox news is desperately trying to recruit you for your sympathetic approaches on behalf of the republican party.

    November 1, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  7. CBR

    Representative John Boehner has shown over and over again that he is unwilling to work in a bipartisan manner. He is extolling the virtues of a conservative Republican Party where moderates and heaven-forbid liberal Republican are unwelcome. The Party is no longer the Party of Lincoln.

    THe polarization of the United States will be to the detriment of the citizens. It is as if neither Rep.Boehner or Senator McConell want us to move forward at all. Right now the country is still mired in partisan politics and nothing will get done.

    I would like to remind them both that they were elected in their own states and not the United States of America. This is something that Senator Reid and Speak Pelosi also need to know. It is time to be work together so that we can get out of the economic crisis and we can have health care reform which is so important. Seniors get denied care every day so where is this wonderful plan that the Republicans say we have.

    November 1, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. Glenn, Cary, NC

    John Boehner? That name sounds familiar. Didn't he use to be somebody?

    November 1, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. Barbara

    The rebellion was a year ago wih the amazing election of Barack Obama who was greeted with an overwhelming national debt and two wars-just to mention a few leftover disasterrs of the Bush/Cheney 8-year joke..Republicans are dividing; have no real leaders but for Rush, Beck and the rest of those weirdos. I live in NY District 23. The Republican who stepped back out of the race did not endorse the other Republican......so much for that rebellion.

    November 1, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. A.B.

    The Republicans just pushed one of their own–Dede Scazzofava out of the race and maybe out of the party because she is viewed as being too liberal. There are not many liberal or moderate Republicans left. If Scazzofava has any sense, she will leave the Republican party and go join the Democrats. She was betrayed and stabbed in the back by her republican collegues–Sarah Palin and other republicans who backed Hoffman for Congress. John Boehner is talking nonsense and cannot accept the fact the American people have spoken by electing Barack Obama as president. The only rebellion going on is in the Republican Party where the conservatives and fighting with the moderates and so-called liberals.

    November 1, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  11. SC Peach

    Boehner's been in the tanning bed way too long. The UVB rays have obviously penetrated and nuked his brains.

    November 1, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  12. radioactive

    Anyone with half a brain can see what the republicans are doing.....they are simply attempting to re-brand themselves as the saviour of the country.....grassroots/less government/tea parties/joe the plumber/sarah palin..... blah blah blah blah..they know they're dead in the water and truly believe the limbaugh's, coulters, o'reilley's, palin's are going to help form the next conservative(republican part(ha ha ha) How dumb do they really think the american people are? America WOKE up last fall and elected Obama !!!!

    November 1, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  13. Brad

    Republicans...go ahead and run all of the moderates out of the GOP. There aren't that many places like NY's 23rd Congressional District where the GOP has held the seat since the Civil War. That's the only kind of electoral landscape where you can flourish by hijacking the GOP primary nomination from the locally nominated candidate and substituting a more extreme candidate with the encouragement of a bunch of right wing carpetbaggers. This just promotes more divisiveness within the GOP, drives out the moderates and holds down GOP voter totals.

    Democrats like this development just fine. Keep up the good work and destroy each other.

    November 1, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  14. think4urself

    Smoke, mirrors, and other lies. This smells just like that stupid "Contract With America" non-sense during the Clinton years.

    Hey Boehner, come up with some viable, modern, realistic alternatives otherwise go back to your 1950s hole.

    November 1, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  15. Ben

    Rebellion already occurred last year. Conservative polices were defeated. When are republicans going to take responsibility for their horrible governing from 2001-07? Their policies led us down to government bailouts? I for once want to see the party own up and now they are johnny come lately to the health care debate after their screaming failed in the summer to stop the progress of reform. Any merging of the tea partier are just a the same section of the GOP coalition, white, older americans who now are blaming others for the spot we are in. When are baby boomers say we screwed up governing this nation royally and stop using the fear card! Demographics are not on the GOP's side. They are becoming smaller and will not able to win back the 7 states that Obama took away easily in 2012. By then, the economy will be better and we will better positioned to compete in the global economy with strides in clean tech and yes raising taxes to balance the budget. I hate taxes too but it's about responsibility! Baby boomers need to own up!

    November 1, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  16. AJ

    All conservatives are rotten horrible people and if republicans are going to swing even further to the right than they already are I think the rebellion is sure to be short lived.

    November 1, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  17. catmom

    If Republicans spent just a little bit of time trying to work FOR our country rather than against it perhaps our recovery would be a little faster. I don't know how they can truly justify what they are doing especially since it was their policies that got us into this mess. I sure hope their supporters take a good look at what they are doing.

    Republicans, wake up and see that your leaders think you all are really stupid. These are the same people who got us into this mess, have done absolutely NOTHING to help get us out of this mess, have NO intentions of working with the duly elected President of the United States. Have no qualms of scaring you people to death, just for power. Rather than doing things the American way their intentions are to ruin the President of Barack Obama just so they can say we told you so. The Republicans in Congress could care less if you have a job or health care or a house to live in. That you don't have these things makes it easier to manipulate you gullible people. They think you supporters are stupid. But, perhaps you are if you fall for the BS Republicans are dishing out. Do they have any answers? What are they? All we have heard is no, no, no.

    November 1, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  18. Andi

    If only his 'children and grandchildren' had to go off to war, Boner would have a much different point of view. Crickey! He makes me physically ill.

    I'm a little older white lady and I STILL think men have little to say as far as abortion (this comment is directed at Bryan). I think all the hard-on pills and male enhancement crap is stupid and 'immoral', but why should I be able to forbid it?

    Abortion is still legal in this country, so let's keep that out of the discussion. Our Nation is NOT and will NEVER BE ruled by one religion's 'morals'. It's in the Constitution the Right loves to wrap around themselves. Read it!

    November 1, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  19. Craig Marker

    It's a revolution is what it is. It's time to take our country back and make it FOR THE PEOPLE ..... RATHER THAN FOR THE CORPORATION/LOBBYISTS/SPECIAL INTERESTS RAPING THE PLANET!

    November 1, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. Craig Marker

    The Republican party is enroute to being regionalized as well!

    November 1, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  21. Ben

    Bottom line- GOP is more concerned about attaining power then offering a comprehesive set of solutions to run on and wow actually govern! Governing is solving problems not pushing them to others.Every respected anaylst on the budget process knows, taxes will have to be raised, programs cut in order to stop the dollar from crumbling when foreigners refuse to back the currency because we have become insolvent. Insolvency was coming before the crash, the bailouts, Obama's plans and now the GOP's answer to their mistakes in the recent past is ....the same old small government....Wall Street took that and laughed while the middle classes wages declined, jobs actually declined, the income inequality gap widened to it's largest since in the 1930s, and btw, the GOP set up an brand new entitlement in 2002, Medicare Part D and now they are opposed to Obama's ideas? Want to fix problems or scare everyone and attain power again and solve nothing

    November 1, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  22. ATL Guy

    Seems like you have to pass a litmus test to make it into the Republican tent. NY23 will come back to haunt Republicans big time. Doug Hoffman doesn't live in the district he's running to represent and has taken earmarks. How mavericky is that!!

    November 1, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  23. Mike in Texas

    Rebellion, fight, stand up, attack, take back......Republicans are a bunch of selfish thugs. Boehner, you are more responsible for the huge deficit than the President. You voted for the Bush tax cuts, you voted for Medicare cost sky rocketing, you voted to go into Iraq.....You have lost your fiscal privileges...If you really want to help America, resign like the rest of your cronies who ran around like a teen age girl with Daddy's credit card.

    November 1, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  24. Tom

    Boehner has nothing of value to say. He spouts whatever he thinks sounds good, and he's usually wrong. These "rebellion" leaders he's talking about are even worse–nutballs who get uninformed voters to support them and thus feel powerful for a few minutes. The GOP and the even nuttier nuts opposing them from even further to the right are all just one big dead end.

    November 1, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  25. Andi

    And CNN, YOU should be embarrassed. As a well-respected news source, you should know better than to slip the 'Majority' Leader label on Boehner in a news article. I recommend CNN, that you make a statement correcting that. You may be trying to pander to the Right, but don't underestimate 'the rest' of us.

    I'd also like the poster who claims that '99.9%' of Americans are against OUR President to cite his/her sources. And the cutesy name play you do on President Barack Hussein Obama's name is soooo old. I hope you are amusing yourself, because it's very old and tired on the rest of us. Or, I guess I could say the '90%' of us that approve of President Obama (I know that is not a correct percentage, but I can play that 'game', too.)

    November 1, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
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