March 14th, 2010
08:20 AM ET
3 years ago

Boehner: I wouldn't vote to close Gitmo 'if you put a gun to my head'


Washington (CNN) – The top Republican in the House is not mincing words when it comes to voicing his opposition to closing the U.S. military detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and relocating the terrorism suspects held there onto American soil.

Asked about the facility and whether it would be closed, House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in an interview that airs on Sunday’s State of the Union, “Well, no they're not. They - they keep saying they are.”

Boehner rejected the White House proposal saying, “(T)hey want $500 million from this Congress to rehabilitate this prison in northwest Illinois. I want to see who the members are who are going to vote for this. I wouldn't vote for this if you put a gun to my head.”

In the sit-down interview with Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley, Boehner called Guantanamo “a world class facility” and said it was a proper site for conducting the military trials of suspected terrorists, an option preferred by Boehner and many of his Republican colleagues on Capitol Hill.

“I think it's the appropriate - appropriate place to hold these prisoners. And they can do the - the tribunals right there at Guantanamo. There is no reason to bring these terrorists into the United States. No reason to increase the threat level here - because they're here, their friends may want to come. It makes no sense to me. And I don't think the Congress will appropriate one dime to move those prisoners from Guantanamo to the United States.”

The White House is reconsidering a previously announced plan by Attorney General Eric Holder to hold several high-profile terrorism trials in civilian court in New York City. The Obama administration has also failed to meet its own, self-imposed one-year deadline for closing the Guantanamo Bay facility and moving the detainees held there to another ultra high-security prison perhaps in the Midwestern United States.

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soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. John Smith

    What he's really saying is...."I wouldnt vote to close Gitmo unless a Republican't thought of it first"

    March 14, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Boehner is totally disfunctional, I've never known one person, other than a baby, that says NO to everything. He lacks the inability to help resolve anything because that requires the ability to think so to avoid thinking he just says no. If he's not a disfunctional person then he needs to put something on the table instead of NO.

    March 14, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  3. John

    Perhaps not a gun to your head but, how about a lie detector?

    March 14, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  4. hongli

    Has anyone ever seen John Boehner smile or having a pleasant face on TV? Could you imagine having this human being in your house? Must be a nightmare.

    March 14, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. Bob (Illinois)

    Go away Boehner. I have yet to hear a positive comment about any subject if Democrats are involved.

    March 14, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. wg

    BOEHNER = THE GRINCH

    March 14, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    The Orange man should know you can't rehabilitate a prison. You RELOCATE a prison. Those prisoners are just like him – beyond all HELP or rehabilitation.

    March 14, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  8. Annie, Atlanta

    This is a Boehner day on the CNN ticker, apparently. Does anyone else notice how ignorant this man sounds. To the great people of Ohio (I love it there, by the way), what are y'all thinking?

    March 14, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. cspurgeon

    Boehner UGH..Of course it should be closed or at least change the purpose. Maybe we should keep it open for sex crimesagainst children and women and get serious about some life terms. That way it could fall under the normal prison system and our military wouldn't have to be there.

    March 14, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  10. Terry from West Texas

    As a good Liberal, I'm curious to know why Conservatives are so willing to trust the Federal Government on Gitmo. I personally want to know who's there, what they did, and why they are not being released. I personally do not trust the government to tell me the truth. I trust an open court trial in which the accused has an opportunity to clear his name and legal assistance.

    After all, here in the USA with all our legal protections, we convict innocent people all the time. We read every week about a man who has spent 20 years in the slammer for a crime he did not commit. Why should I believe that only bad guys were rounded up and locked up in Gitmo? Are Conservatives ready to assure us that we can trust the Federal Government to only do the right thing and only tell the truth?

    Anyone who thinks these men should remain locked up without a trial should be sent directly to prison without a trial and held there for life.

    March 14, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  11. Charlie in Maine

    Interesting choice of words......maybe he would be for closing it if he were water-boarded.

    Take note voters if we let it happen this bozo could become Speaker of the House.

    If that's not reason to get involved and support the Democrats I don't know what is.

    March 14, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  12. Stallion

    By all means bring the terrorists here......let's make them citizens, give them healthcare coverage, good lawyers that cost a fortune, find them "not guilty" and let them go free into America. Closing Gitmo is a great idea Mr President......a real stroke of genius......keep those ideas coming!

    March 14, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
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