Boehner says one-in-three chance GOP could lose the House
April 23rd, 2012
08:07 PM ET
2 years ago

Boehner says one-in-three chance GOP could lose the House

Washington (CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner is sounding some alarm bells, saying "there's a one-in-three chance" Republicans could lose control of the House of Representatives in 2012.

Boehner sounded less than confident he would retain his gavel in an interview slated to air Tuesday on Fox News.

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"I would say that there is a two-in-three chance that we win control of the House again but there's a one-in-three chance that we could lose and I'm being myself, frank," Boehner told Fox News, according to a transcript of the interview.

Until now the speaker has not raised any concerns about his party's chances to keep control of the House this fall, and it's unusual for a top party leader to publicly express a pessimistic outlook.

But a spokesman for Boehner's political arm said the speaker was being "candid" and his comments were a deliberate move to remind supporters and potential donors that House Republicans need support this fall.

"We're looking at both sides of the coin," Cory Fritz told CNN. "Of course there is a chance that we could lose and we want to make sure we're doing everything we can so that our members have the resources they need so they can run and win."

Fritz noted there's a perception among some supporters that the "House is kind of lock," but he stressed "it would be mistake for anyone to take that for granted."

Supporters and donors have largely focused on the race for the White House and taking control of the Senate rather than House races. House Democrats would have to pick up 25 seats to retake the majority in the House.

Boehner also told Fox, "we've got a big challenge and we've got work to do."

A senior House GOP leadership aide echoed the need to highlight the importance of the House to the party's agenda for 2012.

"If you're a Republican, no matter what you want to do it's not going to matter if we don't keep the House," the aide said. "We've got to be prepared and people need to realize that."

In the interview, the speaker pointed out there are 32 districts in states where "there is no presidential campaign going to be run, no big Senate race." Specifically Boehner called 18 Congressional districts in California, New York and Illinois "orphan districts," where Romney is not expected to win, and said they are "frankly pretty vulnerable."

Asked about the House GOP candidates in those districts, Fritz said, "The goal is to get others to see that we have a lot of members in these states that need help."

So far Democrats have shown some optimism about the odds of regaining the majority in the House, but have been careful not to sound overconfident.

Asked last week to predict if Democrats could win back the House, their campaign chief, New York Rep. Steve Israel told CNN, "the House is in range."

The number two House Democrat Rep. Steny Hoyer told reporters last month if the economic recovery continued, "our chances are reasonably good that we can take back the House."

Also see:

Giuliani endorses Romney, downplays being running mate

Huntsman compares GOP to Communist Party of China

RNC formally backs Walker in recall


Filed under: 2012 • John Boehner
soundoff (331 Responses)
  1. Roger

    Re-elect Obama 2012 and Turn the House.

    April 24, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  2. OldMo

    Well, the GOP is going to run a lib-dem for Prez so would anyone notice if the Reps lost the House or not? Boehner is a bought and paid for puppet and he's amoungst the traitors who've sold us out. Unfortunately he's got a ton of company. I imagine such people can only sleep at night because they're soulless.

    April 24, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. Fred in NJ

    mmac said: "The republicans will have a net gain of 1 in the house and a net gain of 6 in the senate. Republicans will take the presidency. It will be a grand slam." What logic are you using to get this? Or is this just out of thin air?

    April 24, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. Linda

    This is a rare statement that is pleasant to hear coming from this House Speaker. Tell us more good news!

    April 24, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    Poor John-Boy. All those "HELL NO's" finally caught up to him, huh? May he toss and turn every night hence wishing he had done it differently ... you know, like maybe working with the other side of the aisle when America needed him most. Nothing like throwing millions upon millions of hard working Americans under the bus just because he could - only to realize too late what a huge mistake that was. That, and taking such pleasure in the pain and suffering inflicted by his foolish ideology by literally doing nothing, absolutely nothing for the past two years but ridicule those who tried to set a better course economically. Oh, well. Day late and a dollar short always does bring regrets. I suspect Boehner has a great many more regrets than he cares to admit publicly.

    April 24, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. TomInRochNY

    I hope my TP rep is one of the vulnerable ones. I can't wait to get rid of his useless balding butt.

    April 24, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  7. DAK

    I hope the Dems do take the House, win a 60+ seat majority in the Senate and re-elect President Obama. Then we will get things done and 2013 – 2016 will be great years! I for one will NOT vote for any Republican running this cycle, from the state level to the federal as I do not believe in rewarding bad behavior. Too many lies, too many "my way or the highway" statements, too much "I know it was a Republican idea then, but now we hate it since the President likes it" attitude. Like the boy who cried wolf! there has been so many lies out of the GOP I don't trust anything they say now so even if they were to be telling the truth about somethign Obama has done or wants to do I wouldn't believe them and I absolutly refuse to vote for someone I do not trust.

    April 24, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  8. Jude

    Every major indicator of the economy from jobs, to deficits, and to out of control spending has gotten worse under Obama. Democrats want to live on the government dole but we can't afford it. Independents will see through all the chatter and the GOP will retain the House by a nose and take the Senate. I feel confident that after most American voters have just lived through Pelosi and Reid era they know if ANYTHING that is not the answer unless we want to be Greece.

    April 24, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  9. SidAirfoil

    Seriously....

    Let's say the Republican's win the White House, keep the House and win a filibuster-proof 61-seat majority in the Senate. Does anyone REALLY believe that they will slash Medicare and Social Security, boost the Pentagon, and cut taxes on the wealthy while raising them on the middle class and poor enough to eliminate the deficit? Does anyone believe that they would KEEP any of those wins in 2014, 2016 and 2018 if they did all that? Does anyone believe that Republican's are that stupid? They are saying these things ONLY to oust Obama. Once they win they will moderate considerably when they realize that their reelections will depend on it. They're playing to the vocal minority in their own party JUST to get elected. And if they really did all those things, the angry peasants, that they will have created, will storm the Bastille and chop off their heads.

    Sid

    April 24, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Hugh, may I ask where you learned civics and government from? The reason I ask is you have mistaken the office of the President for something else. The President has not presided over Congress since the Articles of Confederation. The President "presides" over our government. The Speaker of the House "presides" over the House, and the Vice-President "presides" over the Senate.
    As far as the loss of the House goes, that is what happens when the grown-ups allowed the Tea Party types to believe they could control the agenda. Once the grown-ups woke up from their naps, they suddenly realized that they had no control over these junior types who were elected to tear down what the Constitution has spent the last 224 years building up. Their "No Compromise! No Surrender!" mantra has caused the entire House to basically do little more than keep the doors open for the past two years. If a Republican proposes a bill and sees a Democrat supporting it, then they immediately withdraw it because it was obviously too liberal! Gimme a break. Cryin' John has set himself up for his own failure. I can only pray that the Democrats do not give the Speaker's job back to Nancy Pelosi if they gain control. Please give the job to Hoyer, or Larson, or any of the other Moderate Dems around.

    April 24, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  11. SF

    For once in his life...he could be right! it almost makes me want to CRY

    April 24, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  12. Curtis Howard

    I wonder how long it will take the American public to figure out that the Republicans and Democrats are both the same.

    Probably quit awhile judging from the comments on this forum.

    Divide and Conquer.

    April 24, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  13. cali girl

    The party of just say no is on their way out. Thanks for all of the blocked legislature under your terms, GOP and TParty alike.

    April 24, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  14. Woman In California

    WE MUST VOTE. We must give rides to our neighbors, friends and co-workers IF necessary. Please get out and vote and give the President some help. Let's get rid of the TP trash once and for all!

    Obama 2012

    April 24, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  15. Another Day in the RW Idiot Mines

    "Every major indicator of the economy from jobs, to deficits, and to out of control spending has gotten worse under Obama."

    Wow, that was pretty much all lies. Are you playing in some bizarre hate-radio propaganda contest?

    April 24, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Jude

    Every major indicator of the economy from jobs, to deficits, and to out of control spending has gotten worse under Obama. Democrats want to live on the government dole but we can't afford it
    --------------------
    Not all of those indicators that you cite have gotten worse. However, they unquestionably got worse under Bush.

    Deficit: The last fiscal year for Bush, FY2009, had an annual deficit of $1.5 trillion. Today it is $300 billion less. Bush increased by $1.8 trillion.

    Unemployment: The Republican Recession had unemployment peaked at 10.2%. Today it is 8.2%, which is a decrease of 2%. Bush increased unemployment by over 3% before he left office, with a peak increase of +5% after he left.

    Spending. It wasn't a problem during the Bush administration. "Deficits don't matter." Our current trillion dollar annual deficits were predicted by Bush's own Budget Director, Mitch Daniels, Gov. of IN.

    All of the problems that you cite were not created by this president. They were created by his predecessor and they have not gotten worse. All of those factors became gravely worse under a Republican administration, and now we have Republicans wanting to come in and repeat the same patterns and practices.

    April 24, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  17. Pam from Iowa

    No one to blame but themselves!!!!

    April 24, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  18. Grace

    I'd wager he was well off the mark and the odds are 2/3 likely they will lose the house. The sheer obstinence shown by Republican legislators in the last 3 years has been mind boggling. When an entire political party makes defeating an incumbent president their major goal, instead of making decisions based on what's best for the COUNTRY.. IT'S TIME THEY WERE RETIRED PERMANENTLY.

    April 24, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. Luke Brown

    If the average American realized just how much damage these Republicans/Tea Partiers have done to the country, Democrats would be elected to every seat in House and Senate.

    The Republican Party in Congress is ONLY interested in scoring political points against Obama. They have no idea what it means to actually be responsible and govern.

    April 24, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  20. vatoloke

    Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick....

    April 24, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. Grand Wisdom

    If the democrats control all branches of government, there is zero chance that they will implement any meaningful changes this nation desperately needs. GOP should be flexible and seizes the opportunity to fix the country. GOP should celebrate if the nation can return to fiscal sanity of balancing the budget with 10% revenue growth (through higher tax) and 90% spending cut (through reforming the unsustainable entitlement programs). We don’t have to wait until US becomes Greece. Our grand children will not forgive us for not doing anything.

    April 24, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    Lynda/Minnesota who so eloquently and stated these sentiments:
    " Nothing like throwing millions upon millions of hard working Americans under the bus just because he could – only to realize too late what a huge mistake that was. That, and taking such pleasure in the pain and suffering inflicted by his foolish ideology by literally doing nothing, absolutely nothing for the past two years but ridicule those who tried to set a better course economically"
    -------------------------------------------------
    How true Lynda. How very true. My very sentiments and that of so many of us from all waks of life and all Party affiliations. They stood by and were willing to sacrifice our very country just to ensure that ONE MAN FAILED!! Whta kind of people are these? We know now without a shadow of a doubt don't we? A very tough lesson we learned, but better late thabn never I always say. I thank President Obama for that as well, for allowing the wool to fall from our eyes without his prompting or intervention. THAT MAN took an awful lot of disrespect and abuse that as President he could've nipped in the bud (some of it anyway) but we needed to see for ourselves just how far the Party of Wealth would go if left to their own devices. And boy they went the distance didn't they when they thought no one was paying attention.
    You're busted GOP! You've been outed! I hope that someone within your Party rethinks your Party's stance because you're heading off the cliff, and unlike our country you won't have THAT ONE there to save you.
    Obama 2012. Because the GOP is the laughingstock of the world.

    April 24, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  23. Calcommuter

    It's nice to hear Boehner actually say what could happen to the House and not come up with a Republican talking point. But I think one out of three chance is on the low side. At every turn, if a bill was backed by the President, it was rejected. No compromise. And look how well we're doing. The epitome of a Do Nothing Congress. Maybe it wont be better with a Democratic majority, but let's try it anyway just for giggles... Or as they say on The Big Bang Theory "Schrodinger's Cat"...

    April 24, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  24. WatchDawg

    @Jude,

    Every major indicator of the economy from jobs, to deficits, and to out of control spending has gotten worse under Obama. Democrats want to live on the government dole but we can't afford it. Independents will see through all the chatter and the GOP will retain the House by a nose and take the Senate. I feel confident that after most American voters have just lived through Pelosi and Reid era they know if ANYTHING that is not the answer unless we want to be Greece.
    ----------------

    Did you just wake up from a Faux induced coma...please tell us where you are getting your indicators from...lol

    April 24, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  25. RAWoD

    The GOP has shot itself in the foot and is now figuring out that We the People are quite mad at them.

    April 24, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
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