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. Norma Vessels

    DW ... you say President Obama is an imposter? Knowing that Mitt Romney is a person who believes this .. no, wait,
    he's not that person today, that was yesterday. Tomorrow, he will be somebody else who believes something else altogether. Who's the imposter?

    November 5, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  2. Jonez

    First, Bush and Cheney crippled our nation. Second, this election is another round of choosing the lesser evil. You know it's true. Third, most of the peopleon these forums will never benefit from their preferred party in power.

    November 5, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  3. Nancy

    Obama has done a very convincing job lying to liberals and blaming Bush for the global economic crash and housing crisis that he he helped Clinton create.

    November 5, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  4. RegRepub

    8 years of Bush & Republican greed almost destroyed the U.S. and the world economy, but 49% of American voters are to stupid to even understand that fact so they will vote for a pathological liar to complete what George started during his term. God help us all if Mitt Romney wins the election. Many Europeans are correct , we are the dumbest country on the planet.

    November 5, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  5. DLiz

    As an Ohio native who left the state for eight years (lived in NY and CT) only to return two years ago due to the fantastic cost of living, my biggest issue is the fact that many outside of the state of Ohio are seemingly unaware that Boehner is actually from Ohio. How often does he talk about the state? Boehner has placed his own political aspirations above working for the people whom have elected him.

    Frankly, it seems disengenuine for him to talk about the pulse of the state, how we will vote, how independent voters view the election (I am a registered independent as is my husband) and who will win – it is anyone's game, plain and simple and he is not doing the state any favors. He clearly resembles someone with a drinking problem (there is a reason his face is habitually red folks) and is the conservative version of Pelosi. The difference, other than the obvious, at least everyone knows Pelosi is from CA.

    November 5, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  6. enuff

    Boehner says more than his prayers... especially when the tea bags are pulling his puppet strings.

    November 5, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  7. Jonez

    In addition, corporate heads ship jobs overseas...not the government. You cannot blame this economy on one person in office four years, no matter his party.

    November 5, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  8. Howard

    None if it doesn't matters because in the end Boehner will still be shedding tears down his spray tanned face.

    November 5, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  9. Critical Thinking

    Obama can not get above 49%, undecideds will turn toward Romney, Ohio will go to Romney.

    It's finally time : BO WILL GO !

    November 5, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  10. logic56

    My favorite thing that these guys say..."Polls don't decide elections, voters do"

    Of course...and especially in states like Ohio where the voting process is questionable at best and criminal at worst.

    November 5, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  11. Jonez

    Not much on economics Nancy? Two "International Conflicts" cost a lot of taxpayer money. Add the banking and housing crisis, etc...

    November 5, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  12. Frank

    Thanks to President Obama's auto industry loans Michigan is recovering. Thanks to his economic policies the country is recovering. I don't believe working people in Ohio want to go back to pre-Obama days – that is exactly where Romney would take us. He's a trickle down economist – trickle down never worked and never will. The Great Depression proved it – we've going through it again now. Remember the stock market crashes, your 401k retirement taken? Nor do I believe working white men are stupid enough to throw recovery away by voting for Romney. I have to wonder how much money the media and pollsters are raking in – how much money would be spent on ads and polls without them. Obama gets my vote, I want to keep my job and paycheck out of Romney's offshoring hands.

    November 5, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  13. Sue

    Where are the jobs Boehner?? That's what you were always asking Pelosi.

    November 5, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  14. Hogan's Goat

    "it strikes me at how obama leaning the stories/videos tend to be" Reality has a liberal bias. Go back to watching FOX and you will never hear an opinion you don't have already.

    November 5, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  15. Pupo

    It is not who vote in Ohio – it is who count in Ohio matter.
    Boehner.

    November 5, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  16. Mark

    Before you all think Mittens will do a better job with the economy check out what he did while Givernor of MA-

    Raising fees on all licenses and other types of applications
    Job participation growth of only 0.5% in 4 years
    Balanced budget is not a legislative acheivement in MA- It is the law!
    Most of his budgets were overridden because he would not compromise with Dems.

    Beware of what you wish for with Mittens!

    November 5, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  17. RegRepub

    Kr: anti business president? how about a republican party so determined to regain political power that they would willingly do everything they could to destroy the United states economy to end his presidency! Please tell me what the Republican congress has done for Americans in the last 4 years to help end the recession created by the policies of Republicans who were in power. Yeah, thats what I thought. Nothing to help everything to hurt. Great strategy to regain power make the situation worse then blame it on those other people. At what point will you people actually understand that Mitt Romney will tell you anything to get elected? I guess any lying, immoral, an unamerican individual that makes millions shipping jobs overseas, hiding millions in offshore accounts to keep from paying taxes in the U.S. and destroying companies with leveraged buyouts is the perfect candidate for the Republican voters (just as long as he isn't black, right?) .

    November 5, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  18. eavesdrop

    This goes to prove just how confused AND misleading the GOP are he started out by saying polls dont count then finnishes with If you look at the Poles ? is this man for real or better still , does he have any sense ?? Oh sorry he is exempted !! , he is Republican ........................

    November 5, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  19. Sanity to the left

    "Enthusiasm is on our side."

    What he meant to say was "delusion is on our side." We'll see how that works out for him tomorrow.

    November 5, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  20. Marge

    Boehner is one of the biggest obstructionist to the economic recovery who fought against every effort to reach compromise and try to create jobs. He and the Republicans put politicis ahead of the American people. Most Ohio voters know better and will vote for Obama.

    November 5, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  21. eavesdrop

    Listen again and see that This goes to prove just how confused AND misleading the GOP are he started out by saying polls dont count then finnishes with If you look at the Poles ? is this man for real or better still , does he have any sense ?? Oh sorry he is exempted !! , he is Republican ........................

    November 5, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  22. tear around

    I do not now.

    November 5, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  23. rufus

    Democrats tend to vote early. Who knows, on election day they may be too busy talking on their Obama phones to get to the polls or they may be too drunk/high or hungover!

    November 5, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  24. sandy

    Since Mitt R said that he is not concern about 47% of the middle class That"s why he really take care of Mass . if you are part of the 47% of the middle class Vote For Obama 2012!!!

    November 5, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  25. Florida Dem.

    Boehan, the Rep. Speaker of the House who lead his party to sit on their behinds and do NOTHING to help the President move this country forward! God has a special place for all of them, but until then I will work as hard as I possible can to campaign for any and all to repalce everyone of them in Congress. We'll see who has the last laugh!

    November 5, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
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