Boehner says Obama's focus is to 'annihilate the Republican Party'
January 23rd, 2013
04:08 PM ET
1 year ago

Boehner says Obama's focus is to 'annihilate the Republican Party'

Washington (CNN) – House Speaker John Boehner told a group of Republicans the day after President Barack Obama's inaugural ceremony that the president's focus was to "annihilate the Republican Party."

In remarks to Republicans attending a closed luncheon sponsored by the Ripon Society, Boehner pointed to the president's speech as evidence Obama recognizes he can't achieve his agenda because of the GOP-led House of Representatives.

"Given what we heard yesterday about the president's vision for his second term, it's pretty clear to me that he knows he can't do any of that as long as the House is controlled by Republicans. So we're expecting over the next 22 months to be the focus of this administration as they attempt to annihilate the Republican Party," the House speaker said.

Boehner underlined his point, adding, "And let me just tell you, I do believe that is their goal – to just shove us into the dustbin of history."

Boehner's spokesman said the transcript of Boehner's remarks posted by the Ripon Society was accurate, and noted that the speaker regularly attends the event held by the mainstream Republican group.

In his speech Boehner explained his strategy to move forward with a three month extension of the debt ceiling that includes a provision to force the Senate to vote on a budget.

The Ohio Republican also talked about how he's had to reassure fellow GOP members and donors who have expressed frustration in recent weeks about the political climate, including text he received from former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz. He's a longtime Republican supporter and Boehner friend who the speaker has tapped to give motivational speeches to House members.

Boehner noted that he had asked Holtz to come talk to the House Republican freshmen recently to prepare them for the fights ahead, but ended up having to convince Holtz the party would sort things out.

"I said, 'Lou, would you stop it? We're Americans, we'll figure this out!' And I had to spend 15 minutes giving Lou Holtz a pep talk! I had to do it again last night!" Boehner said.

The speaker also noted that he and other House Republican leaders charted out a short term strategy at their retreat last week with all House Republicans, but the party needed to begin a broader discussion about the big policy debates ahead.

"And while a lot of the retreat unfortunately got focused on the next 90 days, there needs to be further work to talk about how we're going to navigate the next 20 months and what our goals are and how do we defend ourselves in what I do believe is going to be a very hostile environment. All I know is I'm up for the fight," he said.


Filed under: John Boehner • President Obama • Republicans
soundoff (219 Responses)
  1. Ablgarumb

    As far as I remember the focus of GOP in the last 4 years was to "annihilate" Obama, to make sure he did not get reelected for the second term (they even admitted to it in public). Oh how the tables have turned. I certainly hope that this time the GOP will be on the receiving end of efforts to undermine their agenda.

    January 23, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  2. umm hmmm

    GOP demise alert: "I had to give Lou a pep talk"

    January 23, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  3. Harry 101

    Well he has the main stream media working with him so if not now when. Things are changing in the USA of a no questioniing of the DNC and their fine people allowed. Or at least not followed up.

    January 23, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. Woman In California

    I do believe that is their goal – to just shove us into the dustbin of history."

    -–

    That's GOLD-coming from the town drunk, who plotted at the president's last inauguration to do everything possible to derail his presidency, including bring the country down in the process. I only wish that your party would go to the dustbin of history so that maybe, just maybe a fresh new set of REAL republicans could come in with the country's best interest in mind. Keep on telling the American people how low-class, spiteful and petty you are and in the meanwhile, the democrats will keep winning elections.

    January 23, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  5. BD70

    Don't you think you and the Republicans have done that to yourselves? Look at the right wing fruitcakes you are working with. The best you offered for President was Romney. Come on...thought you guys didn't like whining and pointing fingers.

    January 23, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  6. DJ Reality

    Obama is not out to "annihilate the Republican Party." They are doing a good job of it on their own.

    January 23, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  7. Catherine

    Actually, the GOP seems to be doing a pretty good job of annihilating themselves. Obama just needs to sit back and watch. I'm an independent that has pretty much given up on the GOP on the state and national level. Still rarely vote a straight ticket, but you can bet it will be a cold day before I vote Republican in the near future.

    January 23, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  8. DBF

    The GOP will bounce back, Obama will further drive the economy down and the likes of Christie will be more formidable than Romney. There are a lot of good young republicans out there that will rise up and take the place of the old guard. If they do this, especially before the old dems give up power, they'll be ok.

    January 23, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  9. NB

    It looks to me like Obama is doing nothing but helping to facilitate the GOP's own self-inflicted suicide.

    January 23, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  10. Rob Low

    Funny how so many accused Obama of shifting the blame, but will they say the same about Boehner? Actually, Obama just spoke of realistic occurrences, whereas what Boehner doesn't realize is that the gop is obliterating itself without
    any help from anyone.

    January 23, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  11. MrMynor

    Obama doesn't need to shove the GOP into the dustbin of history – they will put themselves there in record time if they don't tone down the rhetoric of the extreme fringe of the party and move their platform into the 21st century.

    January 23, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  12. Lame

    God forbid the GOP take one bit of responsibility. Now they are victim of the system.. These guys are so desperate.

    January 23, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  13. PaulC

    He says that like it's a bad thing.

    January 23, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  14. Sneaks

    It seems to me if the Dems just sit back a while, the Reps will destroy themselves.

    January 23, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  15. Tam

    The GOP has already done it to itself.

    January 23, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  16. pkfops

    A clear case of mismanagement.

    Guess they still haven't figured out less people are buying their product.

    January 23, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  17. Tim

    The Republican Party in its current form needs to be annihilated and destroyed in order for a new opposition Party to take its place that believed in facts, science, and logical reason. I support the idea of two or more viable Parties – a necessary condition for democracy.

    January 23, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  18. Ireallyhps

    Wouldn't that be nice! However, the Republican party is already doing that quite well. They will annihilate themselves without any help from the president. It may have something to do with their neanderthal mentality and the fact the hate every group and person who doesn't think that way.

    January 23, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  19. kay

    The republican party is doing that all by themselves.

    January 23, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  20. max

    The Republicans are doing a good job all by themselves they dont need obamas help

    January 23, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  21. Azalia Lee Panama

    Obama has FEMA camps , so send the Teatards and Republinuts there for political re-education and indoctrination . A Stalinist type poltical purge can make America free from thier tyranny and bigotry permamanent and forever .

    January 23, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  22. mirepoix62

    The GOPoop doesn't need any help from Obama to annihilate itself. Boehner et al are doing an outstanding job on their own. What a bunch of loons!

    January 23, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  23. Done With The GOP

    I think John Boehner is doing a fine job of that by himself.

    January 23, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  24. Lisa P.

    The GOP has brought it on themselves by time and again running against the American people. Remember Karl Rove's "permanent majority"? Only an out-of-touch plutocrat would think that thwarting the will of the people as expressed through free and fair elections is a desirable or a good thing. I was raised Republican but I will be working for the next two years to neutralize the gerrymandering that has warped the current make up of the House and of our WI State Legislature. With any luck we won't see a GOP-majority House again in my lifetime - the dustbin is already better than they deserve.

    January 23, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  25. Sandy

    Obama doesn't have to try to "annihilate" the GOP. They are doing it to themselves for him. And given their priorities and policies, we reasonable folks thank them.

    January 23, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
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