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. Vader

    Turnabout is fair play...

    January 23, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    This from one of the people who quite publicly tried to maneuver themselves poltiically into "permanent majority"?

    Looks like the pantwetting portion of the GOP/Teatroll tantrums has begun.

    January 23, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  3. ga.democrat

    I've got news for Boehner, McConnell, Cantor, Ryan, Paul, and company....they really don't need much help from the President, as they are doing an excellent job of annihilating the Republican party all by themselves. The GOP/Tea Party's time is over.

    January 23, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  4. Doug from Seattle

    From where I'm sitting it appears that the republican's are annihilating themselves.

    January 23, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  5. steven

    sad GOP desperation.

    January 23, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Wilson: "and even some of your comments from time to time are not so subtle."

    Let me go on record as stating my frustration is not with comment(ers) but with a political party I spent my politcal life supporting which has now become a faction that I can no longer relate to. To suggest that the GOP hasn't shown an ugly side of "racism" since President Obama was elected is living in a reality devoid of facts.

    I leave you with what I hope you can understand is a respect for ALL opinions not centered in hate and spite. I will however treat hate and spite with the contempt it deserves.

    January 23, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  7. Ron

    This is rich–coming from Republicans whose total, and only goal, was to annihilate Obama, even at the expense of doing anything constructive for the country. But the truth of the matter is that the Republicans are destroying themselves with the American people.

    January 23, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  8. CAWinMD

    And we wish him well and Godspeed. Then we can start a new party. We could call it the Republican party. A place where people like Ronald Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower, Jack Kemp, Bob Dole, Richard Lugar, and other people of similar minds could get together and form a governing philosophy that included a smaller government and fiscal responsibility, but recognized that a thriving middle class was essential to America and that occasionally Americans need a hand up. That party orthodoxy is great, but that the needs of America trump party orthodoxy every time.

    God, I would love to see that Republican party come back. Maybe it can happen, once we get rid of the current crop of bozos who have appropriated the Republican name.

    January 23, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  9. MGunny

    He doesn't need to. He just needs to step back and they'll self-destruct. They have been falling over themselves the last 4 years to fight Obama in everything and anything. In the end they've lost every battle and looked foolish and weak in the process. They need to forget about Obama (hes already won) and concentrate on doing whats good for the country. If they try the same strategy as before they will continue to lose elections. Its that simple.

    January 23, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. superbole

    LOL... I think Bohner, McConnell and their Tea Party pals are doing just fine on their own. Note to Bohner – 2nd Amendment also guarantees the right to inflict your own wounds. High speed transcortical lead therapy, anybody?

    January 23, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  11. Jed Clampett

    And the latest sideshow from the crazy rightwing Tea Partiers is that Sandy Hook was a bunch of actors and no one was killed there. Just an attempt to get guns banned. Hahahaha!

    It is amazing how centrist the Democrats have become. Come on over moderates you are welcome to join us!

    January 23, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  12. Adam

    With any luck, Boehner's right, and with any further luck, Obama will succeed at that. Sane people everywhere can but hope.

    January 23, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  13. Andrew

    GOP is doing it to themselves. As for Chris Christie saving the day, he won't make it out of the GOP primary. He is not nearly extremely conservative enough. They will wind up with Rand Paul and his crazy notion that we the rich people are being drowned in this country.... good luck!

    January 23, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  14. ba1450

    The GOP is in self-destruct mode... so those two goals definitely align.

    January 23, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  15. Mike

    The GOP doesn't need anyone to ""annihilate the Republican Party" because they are doing an excellent job doing it to themselves without any outside help.

    January 23, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  16. superbole

    Ah. Good. He now recognizes the real and present danger to the party just as he drives the whole thing off the cliff.

    January 23, 2013 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  17. douglas wilton

    The republican party needs no help from the President. It is clearly annihilating itself.
    Let's hope it is soon replaced by an intelligent conservative party. That would enable the Democrats to move back where they should be–a little to the left.

    January 23, 2013 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  18. dina

    Its never going to happen!! Have a blessed day

    January 23, 2013 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  19. nvmature

    But of course, the Republicans were and are never out to hurt this president. That would be beneath them. Sure, of course.

    January 23, 2013 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  20. LUCIFER

    OMFG, I cannot stop laughing at that comment. The republicans are self-determined to destroy themselves. If only Obama could destroy them, but then why waste the effort as they are destroying themselves.

    January 23, 2013 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  21. dina

    Its never going to happen !! Have a blessed day

    January 23, 2013 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  22. nvmature

    Of course, the Republicans would never have such low intentions as to hurt this president. For be such a thought, of course.

    January 23, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  23. joe

    The GOP has been doing a pretty good job of annihilating itself in recent years. It's laughable for them to blame Obama. If they don't get their act together and start looking for reasonable solutions to the country's problems instead of foaming at the mouth at the idea of compromise they will soon have to replace their emblematic elephant with the wooly mammoth because they're headed for extinction.

    January 23, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  24. Wayne Dudley

    You don't need help, I think you are doing a pretty good job of it on your own

    January 23, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  25. Catherine

    DBF Christie most likely doesn't have a chance with today's Republican voters. He's far too normal and honest. Look at the reaction of the GOP when he worked with Obama right after the hurricane. People were up in arms because he thanked the President for his support and cited the quick response time.

    January 23, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
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