November 4th, 2012
04:50 PM ET
2 years ago

FIRST ON CNN: Boehner says Romney will win Ohio, despite auto bailout issue

Wadsworth, Ohio (CNN) – House Speaker John Boehner on Sunday said he was "very confident" that Mitt Romney will win his home state of Ohio on Tuesday, but acknowledged that the auto bailout has helped the president with some voters here.

"Romney is doing well in Ohio. You know, polls don't decide elections, voters do," the speaker said, though he later added "the auto bailout may help the president in Ohio a little."

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"But when you look at polling, it wouldn't indicate that that's had much of a factor at all," he continued. "Enthusiasm is on our side."

Boehner made his comments while sitting in a sports bar in Wadsworth, as customers watched the Cincinnati Bengals (Boehner's favorite team) battle the Denver Broncos. The Cleveland Browns also played Sunday, losing to the Baltimore Ravens.

Donning a red Romney campaign pullover, Boehner said it's possible for the GOP nominee to win the election without carrying the Buckeye State, but said "it gets complicated."

"The easiest path for victory for Mitt Romney is to win here in Ohio. And you know when you start to see Romney's campaign being competitive in places like Pennsylvania and Michigan and Wisconsin, it tells me - it reinforces I'll say, reinforces with me that he's doing well here," he said.

Boehner took a lunch break after a morning stop on his three-day bus tour and talked to CNN exclusively. After spending Saturday rallying supporters in Republican strongholds on the western edge of the state, he traveled to an area outside Cleveland, where he held a rally with GOP freshman Congressman Jim Renacci. Renacci is in a neck-and-neck battle in a newly drawn congressional district with Democratic Rep. Betty Sutton, and the race has drawn the most outside money of any House seat in the country.

READ MORE: Boehner expects temporary fix to avoid fiscal cliff

Hoping to win over some undecided voters in a more left-leaning part of the state, Boehner was heading to Niles, a city in the northeastern part of the state and home to many working class voters. While Boehner was campaigning here, Romney held a rally up the highway in Cleveland.

President Barack Obama, meanwhile, holds a rally in Cincinnati Sunday and Vice President Joe Biden makes three stops in the state.

Despite public polls showing Obama with a slight edge in this mother of all battleground states, Boehner insisted Romney has the momentum here. He also thinks that he is within striking distance in Pennsylvania, which up until recently Democrats said was solidly blue.

"I've been around Ohio, I've done this trip around Ohio for a lot of presidential races in the past, and I think Ohioans vote with their wallets. That's why I think Romney's going to win on Tuesday," he said.

Boehner said it's always a closely contested race in Ohio, but added he had never seen anything on the level of the intensity both sides are putting into the state in 2012.

Before returning to his home state for the weekend get-out-the-vote effort for the GOP presidential ticket, Boehner traveled across the country for House GOP candidates. He dismissed projections from congressional analysts that the GOP could lose some seats on election night, saying he was confident there would be at least as many Republicans in the House as there are now.

Pressed on whether his party could build on the record gains they made in the 2010 midterm, Boehner told CNN it "might."

"Listen it's too early to tell, we've got a lot of races and a margin of error, it's just going to be a matter of what the turnout looks like and how these races close," he said. "But I feel good about where our team is."


Filed under: John Boehner • Mitt Romney • Ohio
soundoff (414 Responses)
  1. mitch
    November 5, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  2. bisoncookie
    November 5, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  3. bonnie
    November 5, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. Jon
    November 5, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  5. RegRepub
    November 5, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  6. The Orangeman Lieth
    November 5, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  7. brucew29
    November 5, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. bonnie
    November 5, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. Mark of Tennessee
    November 5, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. Dadster
    November 5, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  11. John
    November 5, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  12. Stopthemadness
    November 5, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  13. Gigi
    November 5, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  14. Paul
    November 5, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
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