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. Movado

    Those are code words... No one has ever asked Romeny HOW does he plan to...[fill in question]

    Also, what would a Romney cabinet look like?

    November 5, 2012 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  2. merkle

    How was lunch, John?

    November 5, 2012 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  3. alohafalls

    Can anyone tell me why it is ok to reveal early polling/voting data in states such as CO, IA, NC etc with details such as percentage turnouts, who is ahead and with what voting groups well before election dayt; and yet on election nights no results are available until the last polls on the west coast are closed? I thought previously that the info was not revealed so as to not discourge those trailing and thus convincing folks their vote would not help and conversely, the leading candidates supporters would not think the elction was in the bag

    November 5, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  4. markfromdover

    Boehner sitting in a bar? Rum soaked!

    November 5, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  5. Organic1

    Boehner is a waste of resources and skin. Thanks Ohio.

    November 5, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  6. tony

    Unless rethuglikkklans try to rig the elections. I use to remember the gop's platform spread democracy around the world but at home they are spitting on democray with oppressive voter supression laws, what a bunch of hypocrits.

    November 5, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  7. John Stockton

    I lost all faith in my fellow countrymen and the ability of America to do great things when Bush was elected for a second term. I sadly suspect Rmoney will be elected on Tuesday but I will do my best to live out the rest of my days with my strongly hedonsitic agenda. Maybe I can get out of here...

    November 5, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  8. tony

    I hope voters go out there and defend democracy whether you are dems or rep. let us stand up against voter supression.

    November 5, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  9. Hogan's Goat

    Roof Dog Romney isn't going to get the chance to strap America to his roof and drive us off somewhere screaming. Four more quiet years of patient recovery while they namecall and make up stuff, doing their best to wreck the country because they cannot control it.

    November 5, 2012 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  10. Daverelentless

    He'll only win Ohio if his Son tampers with the vote via the electronic voting machines that he controls. But then Robmey loves being a Banana Republic.

    November 5, 2012 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  11. davidk

    Of course Romney will win Ohio. His son Tagg is president of the company that owns and operates the voting machines in Ohio. You think there's any way Romney will lose? Not hardly.

    November 5, 2012 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  12. $tewnomic$

    Best thing that happened is Michael Moore sniffling and crying with Pierce Morgan ...Ann Colter would have been a great addition to that threesum...Watching Ann smother them with "motherhood" ... would have been THE highlight of the campaign!!!

    November 5, 2012 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  13. Bomar

    Boehner, I think you have been one of he worse speakers we have ever had, All you have done is promote gridlock, Hopefully there will be enough republican seats lost in this election to show that.

    November 5, 2012 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  14. Dean

    I hope he's correct. Four more years of Obama will be very depressing...in more ways than one.

    November 5, 2012 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  15. knklhead

    Ohio ... We are begging you! Please explain to your friends and neighbors that Romney is selling to his audience! He likes "aspects" of Obamacare, but says he will repeal it (it's based on his program in Mass!) - he wants to cut taxes 20% across the board and it will have no impact on the deficit, yet he won't give specifics. He thinks 47% of the population are takers - that's seniors, veterans and families! He pretty much endorsed every single foreign policy of Obama in the last election; why? He has no clue (and Obama is doing a great job!) Are you guys buying the pitch from this snake oil salesman?

    November 5, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  16. nilla

    EXCLUSIVE: Eagles fan says the Eagles will win tonight.

    November 5, 2012 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  17. DJH

    Here's the big question......How many cups of coffee did it take to reasonably sober him up to make this delusional prediction? It must have been really tough to get him to take his nose out of the bottle of scotch long enough to do the interview.

    November 5, 2012 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  18. DaisyinNY

    Harry Reid was right about Romney not paying taxes. Bloomberg news broke the story! Romney used the Mormon church's charitable tax exemption status to avoid paying personal income tax. Don't believe me? Good! Go to Bloomberg News and read it yourself. You will be shocked!!!

    November 5, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  19. BetterDaysAhead

    Obama put the taxpayer on the hook for the auto bailout, Romney had a better plan to do it privately. That is the difference. Get the facts and stop believeing anything you hear. We spend too much and our government is inefficient and wasteful with tax payers money. Programs need to be assessed and streamlined to eliminate the waste. THAT is what Romney/Ryan will do, not eli minate everything as you dems would be led to believe! Tommorow cant get here soon enough! ROMNEY/RYAN 2012 for a BETTER AMERICA.

    November 5, 2012 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  20. dee

    Profound comments from the leader of the "Do-Nothings"....always looks sauced

    November 5, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  21. Gurgyl

    This idiot is really an idiot. Or else he must have been DRUNK. Yes, on OBAMA12. Period.

    November 5, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  22. Jeremy@Dallas,TX

    He was in tears halfway through the interview. Numbers don't lie. Romney path to victory is very slim and we gotta live with it. If anything,Obama has been great for this Country in his first term way better than G Bush whom we gave 2 terms. I will vote for Obama tomorrow....in TX!

    November 5, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  23. dw

    $tewnomic$ = laughable nonsense

    November 5, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  24. criticalthinkers

    The most important element in this article is what Boehnar said " he acknowledged that the auto bailout has helped the president with some voters here." its about getting people to work and making smart decision not about someone cry on an Entertainment channel. I'm registered as a Republican and a Christian, but going for the smart choice & people. Obama kept my job. Why can't people think more realistic vs be clouded by ideology and stories they tell themselves. Boehner is not my dad or grandfather's Republican. Sad oh so sad.

    November 5, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  25. T Kogan

    CNN: Are you kidding? Boehner, while sitting in a sports bar, predicts that Romney will win Ohio based on his gut instinct. Even assuming this is Boehner's honestly held view, and not the typical spin we get every minute from both campaigns - and this strikes me as spin, BTW - why is this something to tout as a "breaking news"? If you wonder why traffic is down at this site, you might consider the quality of your reporting.

    November 5, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
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