November 4th, 2012
04:50 PM ET
1 year 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. Name Riri

    Get real Boehner you know its over.OBAMA BIDEN 2012

    November 4, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. tom

    lol what bs. romney's in penn because he thinks there's a good chance he'll lose ohio, that's obvious. bohner most likely just wants to keep up appearances so that republican voters don't feel too dejected to even bother voting

    November 4, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  3. chinorios

    He is one of the people that dis not support ,Our Persident How much money romanaanso gave you?I live in Florida the said the some garbage, romaneso, paid all the news and the newspaper to run ads!!!!!!!!!!!!!!full of Lies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I am with you Name Riri!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Get real boehner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!time for the reps, to fin a leader!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 4, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  4. BLUE 02138

    Romney & Kid Rock ?
    I guess Romney "inhaled" !

    November 4, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  5. annieball62

    there are a lot of things going against Romeny–his position on women's issues, his stand on education, his stand on the right to choose, his association with Kove, Cheney, Rumsfeld (the guys responsible for WMD lie), his stand on health care, his investing outside of the country, refusal to release his tax returns-whats he afraid of?–i read some of the papers he had to file with the SEC when he ran Bain, that alone was an eye-opener. and he belongs to a religion that does not respect the right of women to do more than have babies and wear an apron and keep the kitchen clean.

    November 4, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  6. Republican grandma

    It's a good spin! LOL

    November 4, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  7. wolfpackbob

    It is The Economy, Mr. President. Your Economy, Mr. President. You built that.

    November 4, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  8. PJ

    The DOJ needs to begin tracing his calls to Jon Husted, who is hell bent on stealing the state. Where else would he get this from?

    November 4, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  9. vboni

    Boehner, what do we have to do to get rid of your ass hire an exterminater. you have been like Palin as speaker a total waste in politics.

    November 4, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  10. rick

    he's in a bar getting drunk. he will have no memory if this.

    November 4, 2012 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  11. vboni

    It looks like you have put a flag on me. Everything I post you need a moderator to make sure I posted something that wont hurt some ones little feelings

    November 4, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  12. gary meyer

    just look at the district where boehner gets elected from. it takes in west chester, a wealthy suburb, then skirts around montgomery county (city of Dayton) where Five GM divisions used to employ 30,000, and 600 tool and die shops thrived. then expands into miami county, republican territory. So John boehner doesn't really represent the working middle class of ohio, he represents a small select slice of republican wealth that keeps sending to washington.

    November 4, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  13. caesarbc

    Where are the jobs Boehner – where are the jobs!!??

    November 4, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  14. NFL1

    Why should anyone vote back into Congress the GOP freshmen who promised to work on jobs, but have run so far away from any "real" issues to help America only to try to claim Obama a failure? We need newcomers who will work FOR America and not for politics!

    November 4, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  15. mountainmama42

    And how oes Boener know this. Because the voting machines are rigged in Ohio.

    November 4, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  16. kinyanjui

    As the polls are showing,it is a wait and see situation.Nobody should be too sure of winning at the moment.

    November 4, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  17. joe arena

    We've now entered the phase of the campaign when 1/2 of the Republicans give their fantasy results (We'll win PA, We'll win Ohio), and the other 1/2 of the Republicans start making pre-election-day excuses (If it wasn't for Hurricane Sandy, we would have won).

    November 4, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  18. ENZO

    iam among the 47 single claiming 0 and they take almost half of my paycheck surely more than romney. VOTED OBAMA AND PROUD OF IT

    November 4, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  19. kyle

    Well said Boehner, Obama promised 1 term if he couldn't fix it, go Mitt!

    November 4, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  20. Michael

    Will this be another on of Boehner's boehners?

    November 4, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  21. Azzy

    Hoping Boehner won't cry when Obama carries Ohio.

    Ah who am I kidding, I don't care if he cries.

    November 4, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  22. roe

    whaat the eatin in da backgrond. Looks likd it barbeque.

    November 4, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  23. Michael P

    A republican picking the republican nominee? Nice exclusive CNN.

    November 4, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  24. Scott

    The amount of confidence the republicans are displaying about Romney winning Ohio makes me worry that they have a plan for stealing the vote there. The polls are very clear in Ohio–Obama should win it. His lead is outside the margin of error. If Romney somehow pulls out a victory because of Ohio, I'm betting there will be a number of lawsuits and investigations.

    November 4, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  25. mike_nnh

    what a blow hard. These guys stopped caring about helping ordinary folks when they tried to make sure Obama was a one term president. justice would be all the republican house hypocrites being unemployed.

    November 4, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
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