Boehner says Obama's focus is to 'annihilate the Republican Party'
January 23rd, 2013
04:08 PM ET
10 years 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.

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"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. dina

    aww all these GOP haters..... dont hate its not very becoming !!

    January 23, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  2. Recondo 6-75

    Ooohhh, Let's review. Palin, then Romney. Add some birth control/rape annedotes. Yep, I see how the Speaker fails to see the forest with all those trees in the way.

    January 23, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  3. J Stuart

    FOur years ago the number one mission for the GOP was to make Obama fail. Now they take a different tack, well sort of; they're accusing Obama of doing the same to them.
    The problem with the GOP is that they just don't get it. They are their own worst enemy.

    January 23, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  4. Steve

    Everyone needs to quit spouting rhetoric for the sake of spouting rhetoric. Things can only get done if everyone works together and proposes a real solution. It seems as if one party wants to do nothing, then blame the other party for getting nothing done.

    January 23, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  5. BobInIrvine

    GOP = Self Immolation

    January 23, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  6. JG

    Let's hope and pray that the Dems are able to "annihilate" the GOP. Mainstream American (ie: everyone who is not OLD, Rednecked, Ignorant, or a farmer) has FULLY rejected the hatred, intolerance, pro-rich, pro-corporation philosophies of the GOP.
    Goodbye and Good Riddance. I have had more than enough of the "just say no" party. They were against freeing slaves (conservatives....who at the time were Dems but now are GOP), they were against the Women vote, against blacks in schools, against blacks in universities, against immigration, against women, against gays, against.....well.....EVERYTHING that is not a white, christain, american male.

    I say "Start Annihilating."

    January 23, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. marjee123

    I sure hope he does starting with Boehner himself, but he will have an easy time of it, because the republicans are really helping.

    January 23, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  8. Lisa P.

    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

    Go ahead, question away, but make it solid, factual and to the point, and expect plenty of questions back. Partisan nonsense will not stand, nor should it, ever, from either side. The GOP is now four years to the bad - twelve if you count President Bush's reign of stupidity, greed and self-satisfaction. It will be a long, long time before anyone takes a Republican's word about anything again.

    January 23, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  9. Martin

    Like many people said already what else can Obama do that the GOP didn't do to themselves already, a few more christian right wing fanatics that try to run for office like Rubio and is definitely over.

    January 23, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  10. Name Blue guy red state

    Last year a republican told me she was watching the DNC and thought the audience looked very "strange." I told her that we call it diversity but it is nothing to be afraid of.

    January 23, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  11. douglas wilton

    After the GOP finishes annihilating itself it will be replaced by a center-right party. That will enable the Democrats to move a little to the left, which is where they should be. America sorely needs a party of the moderate left.

    January 23, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. Sane Person

    Thought they were doing that themselves.

    January 23, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  13. McShannon

    I sure hope he can destroy Boehner, SUPER strategy

    January 23, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  14. rconatser1

    Obama doesn't need any help to annihilate the bankrupt ideology that is the GOP. Considering they put more emphasis on making Obama fail instead of helping America succeed, they deserve the irrelevance they now hold.

    January 23, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  15. Catherine

    Oh, Mr. Speaker to paraphrase your money guys, Presidents don't kill their rival party, Rival parties kill themselves.

    January 23, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  16. nvmature

    Funny thing is the Republicans are doing the better jog of making themselves irrelevant. Offend blacks, gays, Hispanics, women, disabled, their own moderates, and hold the country hostage on the debt ceiling and tax issues, suppress voting, make ridiculous statements about a woman's biological abilities during a rape, etc. Obama couldn't come close to doing the harm the Republicans do to themselves.

    January 23, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  17. Teaker

    Perhaps if the republican agenda was more than- "stop Obama" "stop unions" " stop equal rights" and had a real plan to help the middle class normal people would listen.

    January 23, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  18. reasonablebe

    really, it seems the GOP is out to implode without any outside help.

    January 23, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  19. faithfulliberal

    Well, SOMEBODY has to get rid of the obstructionists who continue to put party above country. Who remembers Boehner's pronouncement just 4 years ago that they would vote against ANYTHING Obama proposed to make sure he wouldn't be re-elected in 2012?

    The party of old, angry rich men is coming apart at the seams and a quick death would be an act of mercy. Maybe then we can get the country headed in the direction of solving problems instead of playing revenge games. These guys who are still stuck in the thinking of the 1950s need to move on to the old folks home and sit in their rocking chairs. As the scarecrow lamented in the Wizard of Oz, when he said "If I only had a brain," the Republicans are out of touch, out of ideas, and out of time.

    January 23, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
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