Boehner says Obama's focus is to 'annihilate the Republican Party'
January 23rd, 2013
04:08 PM ET
8 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.

"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. Alexis S. J.

    Now it's paranoia. What pathology is next up for the Tea-Republicans?

    January 23, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  2. DoremusJ

    "When fighting angry, blind men, best to just stay out of the way." ~Jackie Chan

    January 23, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  3. Malory Archer

    LOL!!! I'd say the rethugliban party is doing a pretty good job of that all by themselves, and they don't need any help from the President. weepy's allegation is what is commonly known as "projection". It means to accuse your adversaries of doing what you, yourself are doing. I hope weepy & crew keep up the good work!

    January 23, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    Oh please, that's not our goal: why bother to do it when the GOP will do it to themselves? If the Speaker thinks his party is ready to go on the dustbin of history, than they probably are. Say hello to the Federalists and the Whigs for us, will you?

    January 23, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  5. library guy

    No one has to do a thing. The REpublican Party is busy self destructing.

    January 23, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  6. michaelam

    The Republican Party has done a pretty good job on their own annihilating themselves. They do not need President Obama's help, but please, proceed, Speaker Boehner.

    January 23, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. reality

    Never waste a bullet on a dying man.

    January 23, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  8. Malory Archer

    Forgot to add; when I read weepy's whiny little rant, I kinda rolled my eyes – a lot!

    January 23, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  9. Grady Richardson

    Seems to me that the Republican Party is hell-bent on sending itself into the dust bin of history; the president doesn't need to do anything in that area.

    January 23, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that this is one area where Boehner really doesn't need Mr. Obama's help. The annihilation of the GOP began within the GOP ranks and will just as surely come to its end results from within GOP ranks.

    January 23, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  11. oldbones24

    "Boehner says Obama's focus is to 'annihilate the Republican Party'". That's a hoot, most of the American People want to 'annihilate' them.

    January 23, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. babooph

    If they can the idiotic "social" trash & stop the military massive overspending,& tax the rich more,they could lean back to the IKE days,he won easily...& was one of the greats...built the interstate hwy system instead of wasted bloating of the military..

    January 23, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  13. jkane sfl gop mascots the blubbering slobs allen west rover nitwitquest rick scott ,carl rove and donald dump ??????

    The gop bafoons party seems to be doing a pretty good job of that all by themselves,beat down coming in 2014 mid terms for the gop national disgrace party !!!!!

    January 23, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  14. anotherGDlefty

    You GOP/Teas don't need anyones help to implode.
    Even if that was the presidents goal, I'd say that's more than fair from the party that has lied for 4+ years about the state of the US.
    Mitch McConnel saying his # 1 priority to make him a one termer...anything to say about that Johnnie?

    January 23, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  15. Sheila

    wait til the mid-terms in 2014 – the repos will be "annilhilated " – lol – obama will use the bully pulpit. lol – can't wait til we really move "forward" then.

    January 23, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. Anna B

    Oh, I hope so! Though the Republican party is doing a pretty job of self-destructing without the aid of Democrats.

    January 23, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. dayhiker48

    The "dustbin of history" is way too good for them.

    January 23, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  18. Randy, San Francisco

    Is that a bad thing?

    January 23, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  19. Tom in Millstadt

    This from the party whose main goal was not to end the Iraq war or to solve the financial crisis or other matters that needing their attention. No! Their goal was to make Obama a one term president.

    The more I look at the symbol of the republican party, the more I'm convinced it is not an elephant. It's a mastadon.

    January 23, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    HAHAHAHAHAHA. Ummm, nooooo, given the manner in which the GOP/Teatrolls have behaved and radicalized themselves over the past 4 years, and how they've spent over a half a century alienating every minority in the country, I'm pretty sure it was their own goal to annihilate themselves.

    Sure, Obama kept handing the GOP/Teatrolls the rope they were demanding, but there's no lynching going on here. Now, go pick out a ceiling fan and I'll grab you guys a chair....

    January 23, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  21. Moose

    Woldnt worry than, the only thing this jerk can do is spend your grand childrens money, he already spent your childrens
    im shocked at how ignorant the dem party has become. pull hard maybe you can get your heads out !!!!!!!!!!

    January 23, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    Says the leader of the party that is trying to annihilate the middle-class....

    What a baffoon. This seems even a little unhinged for Boehner, but whatever, the contemporary GOP/Teatrolls thrive on fear and loathing and paranoid delusions, so it's unsuprising that this kind of "waaaah waaaaah we're victims" nonsense is being used to motivate them.

    January 23, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  23. Borderless

    If we ever become a one party nation, regardless of the party, we are headed for disaster. You would like to think that the ideology of the party you support would win out, but it wouldn't. It would become a buyers market for candidates and the only people that would be making decisions for us at that point would be the ones filling "elected" officials' coffers.

    January 23, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. rs

    Boehner is only partially correct, the Republican Party (with all i's wacky members; gross policy mis-steps; anti-government; and anti-Americanism) is bent on destroying the GOP. They're doing a really good job too!

    For President Obam- he HAS to have an opposition party- something to run against. The last thing he wants is Republican suicide.

    January 23, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  25. Tony in Maine

    Boehner says that like that's a bad thing. Probably the best thing that could happen to the GOP is for it to disband and be reborn in a more moderate cast. Lose the freakin' rightwingnut whack jobs, and come to the table like adults so the country can move forward.

    January 23, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
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