November 1st, 2009
01:43 PM ET
12 years ago

Top Republican sounds off on 'political rebellion'

Washington (CNN) – Trying to explain successful efforts by conservatives to topple the Republican establishment’s pick to run in an upstate New York congressional special election, a leading Republican said Sunday that he thinks the country is in the midst of a “political rebellion” driven largely by people who have not previously been vocal in the political process.

“We’re in the middle, I think, of a political rebellion going on in America,” House Majority Leader John Boehner said on CNN’s State of the Union, ”And this rebellion is by people who really have not been actively involved in the political process and they don’t really care if you’re a Democrat or a Republican. They want to see people who are going to stand up and protect the future for our kids and grandkids.”

Boehner also told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King that Republicans will have “a difficult road to walk to work with relatively new entrants into the political system to show them, that by and large, we are the party that represents their interests.”

But Boehner also tried to downplay the significance of Saturday’s surprise announcement by moderate Republican Dede Scozzafava who decided to bow out of a hotly contested three-way race in New York’s 23rd Congressional District.

“This is a pretty unusual situation,” Boehner said of the decision by conservative Republican Doug Hoffman to run against Scozzafava on the Conservative Party ticket in Tuesday’s special election. “Clearly,” Boehner observed, [Scozzafava] would be on the left side of our party.”

Notwithstanding that GOP civil war that brewed in New York’s 23rd district until Scozzafava’s announcement Saturday, the leading House Republican said his party still casts a big, welcome tent to all those who would call themselves Republican.

“We accept moderates in our party. We want moderates in our party. We cover a wide range of Americans,” the Ohio Republican told King.

“What we need is . . . a broad group of people in our party,” Boehner said, rejecting King’s suggestion that the conservative attacks on Scozzafava and support for Hoffman might be a shot over the bow to more moderate would-be Republican candidates especially in New England.

And Boehner appeared to concede Sunday that the growing political power of the conservative grassroots is placing stress on his party.

The House Minority Leader said he was “a big believer” of former President Ronald Reagan’s edict that Republicans should “never talk ill about another Republican.”

“That was not followed in this race,” King said of the Scozzafava-Hoffman battle.

“I know,” Boehner bluntly replied.

Filed under: GOP • John Boehner • NY-23 • Popular Posts • State of the Union
soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. W Spivey

    Please, it's Minority not Majority. The creep doesn't need a promotion to go with his big empty head.

    November 1, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  2. Clint, Lynnwood, Wa.

    I really don't know who is more of an AIR HEAD, this guy or Sarah Palin.

    November 1, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  3. Mike

    O'Boner quadrupled our deficiet and engorged Govt.

    He will fail...


    November 1, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  4. Newt

    Hoffman is a dork !

    November 1, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  5. Moderate

    The rebellion has already begun as more moderates leave my former Republican Party by its foolish choice to push further to the far right.

    The deplorable treatment of Dede in NY-23 by GOP elites shows the party no longer accepts her with moderate views but rather chooses the absurd social politics of Hoffman's fundamentalism.

    Unfortunately, McDonnell's thesis still flourishes in the GOP. As long as that is their direction, many Americans want nothing to do with my former Republican Party.

    November 1, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  6. Scott

    We need a 3rd political party. We HAVE to find a group of people who do not care about party affiliations and are ACTUALLY refusing to take money from corporations and lobbyists. Every politician is the same, they just make different sensationalist claims. We need people who are going to do the job we hired them for. That's right...we HIRED them, by electing them. If there's a political revolution, it's not gonna come from Republicans, it's gonna come from those who actually want to help.

    November 1, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  7. Blue

    If he is asked about a health care plan, he refers you to a website. No plan, just a mess of words. He is totally out of touch. It is time to elect someone in the know. His blue eyes have turned muddy.

    November 1, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  8. James A.

    I just looked at the "Conservative Party of New York" website and read their "Priorities" section.

    I have concluded that there already many members of the GOP that would easily fit in with them - John Boenher is one of them.

    November 1, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  9. JIlli

    Republicans would blindly elect an uninformed, intellectually lazy carpetbagger based strictly on his ideological "purity" – hmm....that smacks a bit like old gdub.

    I wonder if boehner realizes that there's not enough old white people left in this country to lead to wins in a national election. I would guess not – this weeding of the ideologically impure is going to be the final nail in the gop's coffin.

    November 1, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  10. Dania Alvarez

    What is going on is not the kind of "change" t his great country
    Indeed it is frustrating and disappointing.

    Three more years to go seems like a long time.
    Hope and pray that this government move into the RIGHT direction.

    November 1, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  11. ClassicalLiberal

    Establishment Republicraticans are the problem. There are growing 'strange bedfellows'...paying attention anyone? Obama is Bush-Light.

    Independents are the answer...the fundamental misunderstanding of independents is the notion that they are the 'middle'. In some ways they are but not in the ways that is generally represented by the main stream media wackos (CNN, FOX, MSNBC...etc etc...)

    Fiscally conservative, socially liberal (meaning socially "tolerant" – NOT Gov't "nanny seekers"), limited government, sound money and individual liberty.

    Which party wants to TRULY represent these ideals??? Us "new entrants into the political system" are becoming more active every day...and we're not going away. Stay tuned...

    Good Luck.

    November 1, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  12. Liberal4Obama

    Republican just had a civil war and it looks like the Tea Party now run the GOP and can nominate whatever radical right wing extremists they want.

    The GOP just lost ALL moderates and Independents, Dede dropping out in NY-23 is just exhibit A.

    November 1, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. Rumsfeld

    Rep. Boehner is a direct party to and has responsibility for the contentious and divisive state of affairs in this country. He is not without guilt and is unable to see the truth of many things that are occurring right now.

    November 1, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  14. Debbie from CA

    After 35 years as a Republican I left when the far right radical conservatives took over the party. It's down right scarey. They want a government that believes only in their views. It reminded me of the radical Islam Shira Law. There is no room in the GOP for centristist. Reagan would not even recognize the Republican Party today.

    November 1, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  15. Stu- SW Florida

    “a difficult road to walk to work with relatively new entrants into the political system to show them, that by and large, we are the party that represents their interests.”
    What a load of donkey droppings. I don't know about many of the others who don't feel their voices have been heard, but lies, greed and collusion DO NOT represent my interests!!!
    These GOP are really starting to get crazy(ier)

    November 1, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  16. birimuye

    I am enjoying every little bit of it

    November 1, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. Boehner is the love-child of Ayn Rand and Herbert Hoover

    Thank you, Rep. Boehner, for insuring a Democratic majority government for ... oh, say ... the next HUNDRED YEARS or so.

    November 1, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  18. Ron

    The GOP loves to borrow on historical antecedents to help cover their tracks, but there is no "rebellion" going on. What's happening on the great plains of far northern New York isn't being driven by a grass roots outcry, it's being manipulated by the rich and powerful GOP interests who think they can personally and professionally benefit from it. Period.

    The LOCAL people had already made there choice before Beck, O'Reilly, Santorum, Gingrich, Steele and a cadre of unseen operatives decided to politically lynch Scozzafava.

    And yet Boehner has the gall to claim it's some sort of uprising?
    What a lying snake!

    November 1, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  19. FRANK, Las Vegas

    Mr. Boner said, “We’re in the middle, I think, of a political rebellion going on in America”. As usual, the 20% GOP LIES!. It's America who is in the middle of a political rebellion, it's only the GOP itself, rebelling against itself. It's the extreme right vs. the right of center right. As for right now, it looks like the extreme right is winning, so you can expect that 20% number to drop to 15% pretty quickly.

    November 1, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  20. Dave

    The only 'rebellion' is the one happening in the Republican Party. Fiscal Conservatives are bolting from the party due to the ideological purity of religious and social conservatives. This was to be expected after the 2006/2008 elections as Republicans have yet to learn the lessons of the Bush era. The last fiscally-conservative president was Clinton and he was mercilessly attacked by social conservatives. The Republican Party also supported HUGE tax cuts, in the midst of two major wars, which is a recipe for fiscal disaster. Add to that the recklessness and greed, on Wall Street, leading to the economic meltdown, and you have a 'perfect storm' for runaway deficits. Republicans, like Boehner, suffer from selective amnesia which is why they are so quick to blame all this on the current administration. The Republican Party seems to be heading for the abyss unless they are willing to accept responsibility for their own delusional thinking...

    November 1, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  21. David

    This guy is just another Right-Wingnut gasbag....

    November 1, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  22. Mike in Texas

    Boehner is part of the problem. All incumbent Republicans around during the Bush administration helped contribute to our huge deficit. Also, all of you griping about the deficit......If you voted for any rep or Senator who voted for the Bush Tax cuts, the Iran war and the Medicare prescription plan, you need to STFU. 85% of our budget is entitlement, defense, and homeland security. Tell me a Repub who wants to cut any of those. If they don't raise taxes and aren't willing to make deep cuts in those areas, they will give you deficit spending too. Wake up people, the deficit is an AMERICAN problem and all of us are going to have to sacrifice.

    November 1, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  23. Max

    "the leading House Republican said his party still casts a big, welcome tent to all those who would call themselves Republican"

    When Bush was in office, I expressed my concern about the direction the administration was taking on certain issues, to the state Republican office and told them I had considered going independent. Their response to me was "Best of luck to you". To me that didn't sound welcoming but rather they were saying good riddance. To clarify, the welcome tent only applies if you blinding follow them.

    November 1, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  24. Joshua

    Shorter Boehner: "Sure, we're a big tent party, as long as you believe what the looniest, most hard-core radical base believes, and nothing else." Does America really want to gamble by letting these clowns back at the controls?

    November 1, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  25. ANDROLOMA, Commerce City, Colorado

    Time for a new and strong third political party! Isn't that how democracy works? Presenting options to the old ways?

    I agree with "great thinker," even if I disapprove of his ego.


    November 1, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
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