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

    looks like Sniffit is up to his old racebaiting again with his comments about "lynching"

    Tell me sniffy old chum, is there ANY article you don't bring up race and/or use ad hominems?

    January 23, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  2. mrskool

    what a drama queen ! But if its true then Boehner deserves it – the GOP deserves it ! Remember what the GOP were saying when The President was originally elected ... "Lets make him a one-term POTUS". Its karma – what goes around comes around ...

    January 23, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  3. Grahame Rhodes

    OH! Let us hope that the end of the GOP comes really soon. Mind you it's already on life support

    January 23, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  4. Terry

    If Obama could annihilate the Republican Party, then that would be absolutely awesome!!!! I hope Boehner is right for once!!!!

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

    Not only are they imploding, their association with the NRA gun nuts will be the nails in their coffin.

    January 23, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  6. kiwisepp

    if you are the party of top 1-2%, you are going to disappear soon or later.

    January 23, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  7. Tom

    Wow, the Republicans have never met a conspiracy theory they haven't embraced. I have long thought a potential strategy for the Democrats should be to keep blowing the dog whistles. The Republicans, fueled by the conservative media, can whip themselves into a frenzy over such minor things the Democrats could drive them absolutely mad by deliberately doing little, seemingly inconsequential, things near the periphery of Republican hot-button issues. Every time the ultra-conservative half of the Republican party throws a public hissy-fit over some crazy issue it drives the wedge a little deeper into the heart of the party and makes Republicans look insane. It sounds like John Boehner is taking a page from the Mitt Romney play book and pandering to the conservative wignuts by telling them what they want to hear. John, that plan didn't work so well for Mitt.

    January 23, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  8. Smeagel4T

    The GOP is soooo good at projecting their own mentality onto others. The GOP has been working so hard to annihilate the Democratic Party, no wonder Boeher would assume Obama is thinking the same way about the GOP. So Mr. Speaker, why is the GOP putting such a huge effort into disenfranchising voters?

    January 23, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  9. solex

    Wasn't it the GOP who said that their only business during the last four years was to make Obama a "one term president"? Only now, after it is almost too late are they resorting to becoming martyrs.

    January 23, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  10. AMG

    If the republicans hadn't made it their sole purpose to make Obama a one-term president, maybe they could have gotten a lot more done the last 4 years.

    January 23, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  11. CSD

    You want to know why the GOP is a few years away from WHIG status?...Their collective intelligence is such that it elected this moron to be their leader again.

    January 23, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  12. joebob

    I'd say that B0n3r is doing a fine job all by himself

    January 23, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  13. Smeagel4T

    It's really not fair to interview Boehner when's he's leaving the pub.

    January 23, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  14. Spike1473

    GOP're doing fine driving yourself into extinction, no help needed. That's what hate can do to you....

    January 23, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  15. mike

    Oh, that is the most priceless thing I've ever, ever read. The republicans are self destructing all by themselves, and the leader of the house Mr. Bonehead thinks Obama is twisting his mustache figuring out how to destroy the GOP. Hmmm....well, let's's a simple matter of Obama simply moving out of the way. The DOP, um, GOP is doing a fantastic job of destroying the party ALL BY THEMSELVES.

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

    Funny, I thought that was Boehner's job – with some helpfrom
    Cantor, Ryan, McConnell, Bachmann, Walsh, Limbaugh, O'Reilly,

    January 23, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  17. 3vilmonkey

    Not that the GOP needs any help with their own self-destruction, but as the President, Obama should be interesting in annihilating any and all obvious threats to the USA, which obviously includes the GOP. GOOD RIDDANCE!!

    January 23, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  18. tyrammstein

    dear john..thats called is the GOP who has used states to destroy unions, suppress votes in states and blocked everything in congress. you rhetoric is laughably and tragic. get mental help now..perpas a good therapist will also help you stop crying

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

    All this whining from the Republicans who, when President Obama won his first term, had a meeting to discuss how they were going to make sure that he was a one term president by stonewalling everything that President Obama tried to do. The ones who are now trying to manipulate the voter districts to assure that only a Republican can win. Then Boehner has the nerve to say that President Obama wants to destroy the republican party? Now thats rich. As others pointed out, the GOP is dong a fine job of destroying themselves, no help needed. May they be successful.

    January 23, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  20. Kim Crash Harrison

    Somebody certainly needs to. Bunch of corporate bought anti americans

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

    Destroy the GOP? Hah! They are doing that all by themselves. Out of touch with their hideous performance.
    1. Invasive abortion laws
    2. Obstruct any gun control laws
    3. Obstruct voting
    4. Gerrymandering
    5. Trying to change the way the president is elected by GOP control states
    6. Immigration laws
    7. Birtherism

    And these people are pretending to care about America? Don't think so! GOP = the party of division, hate, intolerance.

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

    The GOP has only been hurting themselves. Obama himself cannot destroy the republican party. The House Speaker needs to look in the mirror and his partners who re-elected him to the post need to think about their votes as well.

    January 23, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  23. Midwest dude

    Hey all you politicians and supporters on the FAR right...time to spit out the grapes and stop whining..suck it up and move on!!!

    January 23, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  24. pchelp, Juneau, AK

    Huh, I thought the GOP was committing suicide. Either way they'll be out of our way & the necessary functions of government can at last get done.

    January 23, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  25. Just Saying

    Kind of like Mitch McConnel saying the Republican's first goal was to make President Obama a "one term President". Guess they can dish it out but they can't take it. Sounds to me like the Republicans are running scared. They can't control their own Party (i.e. Tea Party) so they have to find someone to blame for their implosion.

    Mr. Boehner, the Republican Party is destroying itself. Nice Try!

    January 23, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
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