Boehner says one-in-three chance GOP could lose the House
April 23rd, 2012
08:07 PM ET
3 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. The Film Professor

    Well, duh. He should be fired. All of this negativity the past several years. the posturing last summer that caused the credit rating to drop, the continued obsession about protecting the millionaires and billionaires over middle-class Ameica - and meanwhile Obama and the Democrats have managed to slowly dig us out of the disastrous mess left to them by Bush and his Wall Street cronies.

    April 24, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  2. Indyswimmer66

    Only way anything will ever get done is single party control. Otherwise, as well proven, NOTHING gets done!

    April 24, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  3. Clint, Wa.

    Blame Obama, it's all his fault.

    April 24, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  4. CAL USA

    There is a silver lining, Mr. Boehner. If you're no longer Speaker, you get a lot more free time. We all recognize that you and your caucus don't really want to spend too many days working, so this would be a win-win for you and for the country.

    April 24, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. MTATL67

    As usual Rep. Boehner under estimates his and the Republican parties failures in Congress. Rep. Boehner’s tenure as Speaker of the House and Rep. Cantor as House GOP leader have been ones of mismanagement and zero leadership (unable to control members of Congress belonging to that extremist group) . The GOP has disrespected the Hispanic, Black and Gay voters and waged a war on women from Virginia to Idaho and Wisconsin to Alabama. That disrespect will cost them. It is time for both Boehner and Cantor to be voted out of office.

    April 24, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. A Southern Lady - North Carolina

    With the House controlled by the Tea Party, it is impossible to govern this country in a positive way. Boehner, who knows what he is up against, does not have control and the House votes down everything the President tries to do to improve the economy and help the country regain its footing. It was the extreme behavior of the House Tea Partiers that caused the country to have it's financial standing downgraded. For the country to continue to recover, the House must either be taken over by the Democrats or the once-proud Republican party must replace the Tea Party nuts with true legislators who will work for the best interests of the country. We can not have four more years of President Obama doing everything possible to help the county and the Tea Party House memebers voting "No". Love your country – Vote Obama in November and send the Tea Partiers home. Amen.

    April 24, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  7. needNewGov

    If the GOP would spend as much of their effort in creating a better economy than trying to oppress woman they wouldn't have to worry about losing in November.

    April 24, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. RodRoderick

    News flash for ya Boehner: there is an even greater chance you won't be re-elected.

    April 24, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  9. Ken

    brian in dc said "Well it's not for lack of trying. Reid sits on anything and everything coming out of the house." I don't suppose he remembers that the GOP has filibustered everything the Democrats have put forward, even those things that they previously agreed with. Partisanship is very blinding, isn't it Brian?

    April 24, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. Wowed

    Boehner's problem is that he's an ineffective leader who spends too much time in bed with Obama.

    April 24, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  11. Data Driven

    The GOP will lose seats, but not enough to lose the majority in the House. However, as another poster here pointed out, it remains to be seen if Boehner will be the Speaker of such a diminished House. Expect a fight there.

    On the Senate side, the Dems will probably lose the majority, because this will be a "throw the bums out" election. (Too many bums in the House to change the majority, unfortunately.). But even with the GOP in control of both chambers, they'll face the same problems that the Dems were faced with: they won't have enough votes to overcome filibusters. So we'll be in the same place as we are today: a country with dysfunctional governance. The only way this changes is if an Amendment to the Constitution is proposed that will eliminate the filibuster.

    Of course, Obama, who will be President till 2016, will still veto any nutty legislation from a GOP congress, so the Beat Will Go On ...

    April 24, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  12. Justin

    I'd say the chances of getting booted are much higher my friend. I think Romney has about a one in three chance of being President though.

    April 24, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  13. john

    Democrats are hilarious. It's the president's job to bring sides together period. That's part of being the boss. When Obama takes a position that he refuses to cut spending from the largest contributors to the budget, which are also going bankrupt, it's a little difficult to take negotiations seriously. Democrats aren't happy that they can't ram through whatever you want. I'm sure if it was the other way around it would be thr Repubs fault then right?

    April 24, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    @ A Southern Lady – North Carolina
    Amen to THAT!

    April 24, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  15. GI Joe

    He feels entitled to be House speaker because he's a man. ha ha ha ha ha ha

    April 24, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  16. mmac

    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.

    April 24, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  17. amf140

    Oh great. We get Nancy Pelosi back. And she would be 2 heart beats away from being President. Now is that a "scary" thought or what?

    April 24, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  18. Chumlee

    Time to get out the tissue Boehner

    April 24, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Don't let Spkr. Boehner's words fool you. Remember what the basic MO is for Republicans, fear and hate mongering. What he is doing is trying to excite voters to the polls. But more importantly he is trying to excite donors, and not just the big corporate donors.

    April 24, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  20. Jim

    Bohner going down.

    April 24, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  21. FLIndependent

    When the Dems had full control, Nancy Pelosi ran a tight ship and was able to get through many good pieces of legislation. However, it was still the Senate that was the problem and blocked many more pieces of legislation either through the filibuster or because of the Blue Dog Dems. Even though I'm an Obama supporter, I believe that Harry Reid should have been replaced in 2010 as the Leader (Shumer maybe?). However, in order for President Obama to be more effective in his 2nd term we need to kick out all the obstructionists and hopefully that will result in a Dem House again and a new Dem leader for the Senate.

    April 24, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  22. If boehner says there is a one and three chance, it's time. . .

    to place your bets . . .

    April 24, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  23. The REAL Truth.. (not the imposter)

    @john – "Democrats are hilarious. It's the president's job to bring sides together period. That's part of being the boss. When Obama takes a position that he refuses to cut spending from the largest contributors to the budget, which are also going bankrupt, it's a little difficult to take negotiations seriously. "
    ---------------------------
    When both sides offer legislation that is KNOWINGLY unacceptable to the other side, we have stalemate. Obama HAS tried to broker deals, but when the other sides hard liners refuse to COMPROMISE, we have what we have. The general public is finally becoming fed up with the do-nothing Congress, specifically the GOP side. It's become patently obvious as to the source of political gridlock, and laughable as you may find it, Boehner is part of the problem. Obama is the solution. The party of no, has no platform, no plans, no candidate and no chance in Nov. Out!

    April 24, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  24. GI Joe

    The record number of filibusters the 1st 2 years was astounding. And the record number of abortion bills in 2011 was astounding.

    Figure it out folks. You can be bipartisan with one group yelling he ll no ALL the time.

    April 24, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  25. Jesse

    It really does not matter who wins control of the House. Nothing is going to be accomplished by either party. Dem or Repub.
    There is just to much partisan in the mindset of today's politicos.

    Jesse in Texas

    April 24, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
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