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. tina

    seriously?!? I just waited 3 hours in line to vote at the Board of Elections in very cold damp weather with literally thousands of other people here in Cleveland, Ohio and you think our enthusiasm is in any way dampened? Wake up and get out your hankie Mr. Boehner, and you should get a clue Jon Husted- your transparent attempts at voter suppression in here in Ohio will not work- we know who is on the side of the 47% of Americans- the true working people. I walked out of the Board of Elections at 5:30pm and there was still a line of people stretched way down the street to vote, and believe me, they were NOT voting Romney! Mitt Romney is a no-go in Cleveland!!

    November 4, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  2. independent

    Would you expect him to say anything else two days before the election? He has been a disappointment for not standing up to the Right wing of his party. He is the Speaker of the House, not speaker of the Party.

    November 4, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  3. EKIA

    Obama's coal policies will destroy all of Ohio's coal jobs.

    November 4, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  4. NameJoseph

    President Romney will take the chains off this economy.

    November 4, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  5. Millie

    Who cares what this clown thinks? His opinion is right down there with Sarah Palin's, or Guliani's, or Donald Trump's. They're all Bozos on that bus.

    November 4, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  6. TM

    Speaker McWeepy knows what he is talking about. The FIX is in!

    November 4, 2012 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  7. Gargoyle

    Boehner and most of the Republican party members are the "left over NAZIS of the 20s,30s & 40s.
    They are doing today as they did in the Reign of Hitler. In other words "Screw the little Guy" and put the Riches
    in their own pockets and the pockets of BIG Business,,Seig Heil Fuerer Boehner..

    November 4, 2012 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  8. Dwane

    Independent voter here. I don't know what Romney's plans are, and I'm sick of getting conspiracy material in the mail. Everything from Obama being a communist to Obama being a Muslim and so forth. Republicans need to stop invoking God as a reason to defeat the other side. That's the tactics of the Taliban. As much as I dislike Obama, it's terrifying to me how radical and bigoted the other side has become. I have no other choice.

    November 4, 2012 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  9. REDFIRESTORM

    POTUS - YOU WERE WARNED: "JUSTICE BEFORE POLITICS" - First, you announced pre-storm intent to place politics over New York pain. Your wife sent out campaign donation letters during the storm. Now you proved post-storm incompetence. You made the Democrat New York Political Machine and media angry and turn on you. The New York Daily News - A VERY LIBERAL LEFT-LEANING PAPER - has endorsed Governor Romney for President and calls you a "political failure with misguided foreign policies and poor budgetary discipline." Native New Yorker blood is thicker than political sewer water. Governor Andrew Cuomo will work closely with President Romney to build a "bigger and better" New York City. Few politicians within all 50 States would deny knowing what happens when the New York Machine turns its back on you - ask Joe Bruno. Although a Republican, I feel sorry for David Axelrod and you. Good luck with your political future - and stay out of our city.

    November 4, 2012 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  10. Linda

    So the people of Ohoi believes the lies and accept the corruption of the GOPS?. Just shows what big money and TV ads can do. They have bought the democracy of the USA. We will soon be a one party nation run by something like a dictator or king. This nation is not failing because of Obama but a Congress. If these 435 elected officials really cared about this nation they would have created jobs, deceased the debt, improved our education system. Instead they fight and get kick backs from special interests. Blaming all this on one man is not fooling America.

    November 4, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  11. Just Me

    I am looking forward to seeing Boehner cry me a river Tuesday night when the results come in and Ohio is called for the President. Should be great reality TV.

    November 4, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  12. Betsy

    Well this just proves the Good Ole boy has been spending too much time in DC and is out of touch with him homestate.. Poor thing!

    November 4, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  13. AnAmerican

    Let me guess. Romney will win in Ohio just like Bush won Ohio in 2004. Fraud.

    November 4, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  14. Realist

    He has clearly been inhaling his spray tanner.

    November 4, 2012 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  15. Justin

    I live in Ohio and think Boehner is completely wrong.....unless he has fixed the electoral college Obama will win this one. Ohioans are too smart lol

    November 4, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  16. Al

    Boehner made his prediction while in a sports bar....he had obviously been drinking. No wonder his face is always red.

    November 4, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  17. sonnie3

    Obama is hurting for sure, a repeat of the 2010 election should sweep him under the rug and he can return to Chicago where the rest of the mafia is.

    November 4, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  18. ObaWendon

    I guess we will see him in tears again when his candidate does not win. Too bad this guy didn't grow some you know whats to stand up to his Tea Party people who are killing our economy. He will go down as the worst Speaker of the House because he sits over a House of Representatives who have done nothing except obstruct. How they can cash their checks is beyond me! I hope they are ALL replaced in this election. All seats up for grabs! Maybe we will get some people with some brains back and who are willing to actually do something instead of act like a bunch of children.

    November 4, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  19. T.P.Thank

    Boehner will be disappointed on Dec 6,2012.

    November 4, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  20. Gary, Hunt Valley, Md.

    Uhhh, what did anyone think the Freaky Tanned Man would say?

    November 4, 2012 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  21. T.P.Thank

    Boehner will be a\disappointed on November 6, 2012.

    November 4, 2012 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  22. midwestmatt

    Gee, Boehner, do you have inside information on ballot machines changing votes to Romney? Or early votes disappearing? Or voters in minority areas being told to vote on Wednesday?

    Run along and get your spray tan on while your cronies do their best to steal the election.

    November 4, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  23. Sam

    Hahahaha Ohio is for Obama

    November 4, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  24. 47 percent

    A recent survey from Public Policy Polling shows that 49 percent of registered voters nationwide think that Republicans are “intentionally stalling efforts to jump-start the economy” to ensure Obama’s defeat in November.

    Because of this nice statement from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has twice stated that "a top political goal for the GOP is to make Barack Obama a one-term President."

    While the initial statement may have come from McConnell about ensuring Obama would be a one term President. It is the Republican Party that needs to deal with this issue. Truth be told, this type of statement is felt in every election. The party not in power always want the seat back, but they don't come out and say it. To do that just gives the guy going for re-election ammo to explain any failures he may have had.

    Honestly, I will look forward to the election when a candidate comes out and chooses someone from the other party to be their running mate. Then it will show who they care about. That being the country and not the party. then you might get an actual president who wants the country to increase in strength and decrease in division.

    November 4, 2012 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  25. Clear and Present Thinker

    Big predictions usually come from big mouths.

    November 4, 2012 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
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