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. noodles2loud

    In order for Obama to send the GOP to the "dustbin of history", he has to do... nothing. They are digging themselves deeper into irrelevancy without any help.

    January 23, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  2. Harry

    I certainly hope that is the case and what Obama plans. Screw the GOP!

    January 23, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  3. Laura

    The GOTP certainly doesn't need any help with that. They're doing fine all by themselves.

    January 23, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  4. smithdp

    And Lou Holtz once participated in an ad for Jesse Helms. Yep, he fits right in with the Republican party.

    January 23, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  5. Yoshi Togukawa

    Boehner is the town crier, now gone into paranoid mood. The GOP doesn`t need any help from Obama. It is finely doing the job all by itself, and it has been doing it for quite a while now. They are so involved in hating everybody, that they can`t even see their own slow demise.

    January 23, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  6. Chaerlotte

    Silly. The President has no need to focus on annihilating the Republican party. They are taking care of that just fine all by themselves.

    January 23, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  7. BostonBob

    Turn about is fair play right Mr. Speaker?

    Since you spent the first 4 years destroying the country because you didn't want Obama to get elected again I think the President setting his sights on the obstructionists in Congress is quite fitting.

    January 23, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  8. proudlib

    A big boo hoo to bawlin' Boehner and his lesser imps-hurts doesn't it, you are the one(s) who have done everything in you power to derail this train. If you are that concerned- please give up your S.S. benefits and stand on your own and quit cryin-you deserve all the scorn that the G.O.P. and the far right propaganda machine have harvested.

    January 23, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  9. Cindy

    That is not Obama doing that. The Republicans are in self-destruct mode and are about to blow themselves up.

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

    Our first order of business is to make Obama a one term president. Funny how it is so demeaning when the shoe is on the other foot. The Republicans just don't get that their job is to represent the American people and not their party or the corporations of America.

    January 23, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  11. Damich

    Ummm...I'm pretty sure the GOP alienates themselves ALL BY THEMSELVES.

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

    Well, the European Union has imposed a self inflicted antigrowth policy of draconian spending cuts. No tea party needed there. And we dont want the tea party here... Hey, maybe the republicans and the tea party can move to China.

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

    seems to me that was 'y'alls' plan for Obama and the Dmocrats. Lets see..who was it that said.'our primary goal is to make Obama a one term president'??? So..tears in your beers you lazy lyin losers..maybe we will get lucky and the repugnant party will just 'fade away'...quickly.

    January 23, 2013 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  14. notogop

    Now let me see, it seems that the Teapublicans, led by Mr. Romney, did their best to alienate or marginalize Blacks, Hispanics, the poor, everyone on social security, the middle class, gays, Muslims, Jews, ie., all nonChristians, peaceniks, the handicapped, well just about everyone who is not rich, not white, and intelligent. What can Obama do to make it any worse for the GOP?

    January 23, 2013 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  15. jinx88

    This POS has the nerve to say Obama wants to "annihilate the Repub party", listen orangeman remember this quote "our number one goal is to make Obama a one term president". What a joke!!!

    January 23, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  16. JT

    You guys don't need any help there, Johnny Tangerine.

    January 23, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. Mark

    Not the Republican Party mister Boehner...just the Tea Party. They have proven themselves to be an existential threat to the country and deserve political annihilation. The dustbin of history is where they belong.

    January 23, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  18. RINO Bill

    What an incredably stupid thing to say. Is there something wrong with Boehner's thought processes? For someone who has been waiting for his time in the limelight, John Boehner will not be remembered for being a great Speaker of the House, heck, he would have to work real hard to be deemed mediocre. I am actually beginning to miss Denny Hastert!!!

    Surely the House Republicans could have done better than John Boehner.

    January 23, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  19. MeapersoninUS

    WOW how about the repuks are doing a good job of that on their own. PLEASE, Boehner is such a WEAK jerk.

    January 23, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  20. Just Saying

    Well, Republicans are doing a pretty good job at it themselves! Mr. Obama has just to sit and watch the implosion!

    January 23, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  21. Lilybean58

    The nice thing about being paranoid, Mr. Boehner, is that you always feel like you're the center of attention.

    January 23, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  22. Carol

    Boehner is beginning to sound like the fringe! He knows very well that the Repubs have brought it all on themselves, so he needs to pick up his marbles and go pick on someone else. He and Mitch McConnell are at the top of annihilating the Republican party!

    January 23, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  23. Jed Clampett

    Grover Norquist, Wayne LaPierre, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, etc. are the ones who have annihilated the GOP by dragging them to the far right extreme.

    Democrats are actually a very moderate party at this point in history.

    January 23, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  24. Don F.

    This is one mind blowing facet of the GOP. They live in an unreal world - a world of blame and fantasy. Because of this they are unable correctly assess what is happening to them and take corrective action. It is like cancer which destroys the organizm by screwing up its command and control so that parts no longer function in a way relevant to a functional organizm. The GOP must ask itself if it has a future as a party drifting away from the political center and increasingly keeps playing hostage and brinkmanship politics.

    January 23, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  25. km

    The Republicans deserve the dustbin. With the changing demographics of the country, this will surely happen. But they seem to want to do this themselves. They seem to be in a great hurry to go into the dustbin of history!! I will be glad...

    January 23, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
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