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

    "How about we lose both extremes and meet in the middle."

    How about we stop pretending that false equivalencies are even remotely accurate or that the GOP didn't radicalize themselves in response to Obama's first election and move waaaaaay to the right in order to shift where the "middle" was located? You want to talk about the middle? Then let's first correct for the GOP's creation of the Teatrolls as their political cover for their planned diaspora from the center.

    January 23, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  2. glorydays

    Nope, the GOP is set on self destruction from the right.

    January 23, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. dabble53

    @Waylon – yes...we are ECSTATIC in fact

    January 23, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. Martha in CF

    Sorry Mr Boehner–your party is doing a good job of eliminating their party on their own. Typical redumblican, always blaming someone else......

    January 23, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  5. svscnn

    Short memories. Somebody give these clowns a mirror please.

    January 23, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. Lee

    Hmm..Didn't the repuglicans do everything in their power to try to make Obama a one-term President? Seems to be that turnabout is fair play.

    January 23, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  7. IvotedforObama

    I think the GOP is doing a great job all by itself to destroy their racist party.

    January 23, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. Justin

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    January 23, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. Lisa

    Looks like the Republicans are doing a fine job of that themselves but let's blame Obama.

    January 23, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. xjam13

    I think the Tea Party has already done that! Obama doesn't have to.

    January 23, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. Oi

    This is why we need more than 2 parties. Isn't the tea party mission to pretty much annihilate the Democratic party? Is this not the central goal of both parties in our new political world?

    Working together seems to no longer be an option, no matter if both sides would win in the process. Both parties have become a horrific joke.

    January 23, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  12. fsmgroupie

    go tea baggers!!!

    January 23, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  13. us_1776


    The GOP is annihilating itself !!


    January 23, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  14. RonSki

    The Republicans Radical Right and Tea Party members will annihilate the party THEMSELVES by their radicalism....they won't need ANY help from Obama because the AMERICAN PEOPLE have opened their eyes to BOTH political parties and their obvious inadequacies to govern FOR THE BENEFIT of the AMERICAN PEOPLE

    January 23, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  15. Theda

    Seems to me, I remember the GOP decided the moment that Obama won the first time they that would destroy our Country before they would let him win a second term. Well that failed as will the whinny display of leadership going on in the party now. You can't bully the people or whine and complain to get your way. Stand up for the people instead of special interest groups and then maybe we will see a Grand Old Party again.

    January 23, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  16. roy

    The republicans don't need any help in annihilating themselves.

    January 23, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  17. jnpa

    That is what Boehner told the President at the luncheon and that is why Michelle Obama rolled her eyes...very simple!

    January 23, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  18. flowerpot

    A few short years ago the republicans were vowing to "annilate the President" by making him a one term president. It seems they have failed and now are afraid

    January 23, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  19. DrEmilShaufhausen

    But wasn't that the publicly stated goal of the REPUBLICANS a while back?

    Seems like these apes can dish it out, but they can't take it.

    January 23, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. rockysfan

    Boehner, the only ones out to "annihilate" the GOP are people like you; old white males. That is the GOP problem and until they realize they are OUT of the mainstream, they will wither and blow away, like the weeds they are. So, look in the mirror if you want to know where the GOP problem is. Stop being a toddler, pointing fingers and blaming everyone but yourself.

    January 23, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  21. ATL Guy

    I think that's exactly what the President intends and what I think he should do.

    January 23, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  22. AnnCosentino

    is the fox just seeing his own reflection in the mirror?

    January 23, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  23. Walt Merritt

    That's just funny Boehner. Anyone with a functioning brain knows that the Tea Party and continuing to support the same old failed policies is what is destroying the Republican Party.

    January 23, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  24. Organic1

    Oh Jim Beam... I mean John Boehner – no body is out to get you, that was done internally of the GOP and you were leading the jump off the bridge. Do not blame someone else, while I understand your 5th grade view on cooperation, there is no need to keep taking your toys out of the sandbox every time you get that wedgey from the others.

    January 23, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  25. mike

    im surprised they did say he was crying too haha

    January 23, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
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