John Boehner Blames The NY-23 Republican In-Fighting On Those Not 'Actively Involved In The Political Process'

When asked by CNN's John King about the Republican Party in-fighting in the NY-23 race and if the party can survive in the Northeast region of the cou
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When asked by CNN's John King about the Republican Party in-fighting in the NY-23 race and if the party can survive in the Northeast region of the country if there is no room for moderates in their ranks, John Boehner tries to blame the “rebellion” going on now on “people who really have not been actively involved in the political process”. Oh really?

While that may be true of those out protesting, it’s certainly not true of the ones organizing them. Dick Armey and Tim Phillips are hardly people that could be called “not active in the political process”. Quite the opposite. And Sarah Palin who has interjected herself into that race was the Republican Vice-Presidential nominee the last election.

John Boehner has a bigger mess on his hands than he’s willing to admit which is evident by his response at the end of the segment when he says this:

KING: Let me ask you, lastly, though, but sometimes does the party need to draw a line?

What's the point of having a party if people in your party will attack your own nominees? I mean, where do you draw that line?

BOEHNER: Listen, I'm a big believer in Ronald Reagan's 11 commandment -- 11th commandment. Never talk ill about another Republican.

KING: That was not followed in this race.

BOEHNER: I know.

Yes and so do the rest of us who have been watching this John.

Transcript below the fold.

KING: I want to talk to you about politics. You would like to be the next speaker of the House of Representatives. And while much of the attention on this year's elections are on the governor's races in New Jersey and Virginia, there's a special election in New York state. I'm going to hold up the newspaper. This is the Syracuse newspaper. You see "One out, two left in battle for 23rd."

It's the 23rd district and the Republican Party's endorsed candidate, Dede Scozzafava yesterday withdrew from the race. You endorsed her. She was the party's nominee. But she withdrew from the race after Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Alaska, the current governor of Minnesota, two people who might want to run for president some day, and other conservatives jumped in and said she's not good enough, she's not pure enough to be a Republican.

Can you be the speaker of the House, can your party survive in this part of the country if things like this happen?

BOEHNER: Well this is a pretty unusual situation. You had seven county chairmen who chose Dede to be our nominee. And clearly, she would be on the left side of our party, a conservative decided to leave the Republican Party and sign up on the conservative party ticket, which is allowed in New York.

And what's happened over the last several weeks is her numbers have continued to slide. Hoffman, Doug Hoffman, the conservative party candidate, his numbers continue to grow. And so Dede yesterday decided to withdraw from the race. This is a pretty unusual circumstance.

BOEHNER: That we see in New York.

KING: But does it not send a signal? Your friend and former House speaker, Republican Newt Gingrich, said, if this happened, it would be a purge of the Republican Party.

This is what Chris Van Hollen -- obviously, he's a Democrat and your colleague in the House. He's chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He says, "The far-right tea-bag party is leading the Republican Party around by the nose."

BOEHNER: Now, listen, we accept moderates in our party and we want moderates in our party. We cover a wide range of Americans. I've -- I was at the tea party in Bakersfield, California on April 15th. I answered questions in front of 18,000 tea-party people, Labor Day weekend in West Chester, Ohio. I've worked with these people. And what they're concerned about is the growing size of government. They want someone who's really going to actively reduce spending and reduce control here in Washington. They're scared to death.

And in this particular case, they think that Mr. Hoffman was a better candidate than the Republican.

KING: If you were a pro-choice Republican, say in the Northeast part of the country -- maybe you support same-sex marriage as well, but you're a fiscal conservative and you think you're a New England moderate Republican, Northeast moderate Republican -- would you enter a race, now, for Congress next year, seek the Republican nomination, knowing that something like this might happen?

BOEHNER: I -- I would hope so. I would hope so. Because what we need is we need a broad group of people in our party.

KING: Doesn't this send a pretty stern signal to those people...

BOEHNER: No, this is a very unusual circumstance.

KING: You don't think the people who went after Dede are going to think, "We can go after other Republicans now," now that they've succeed here?

BOEHNER: Well, I think that going after Republicans is one thing. Having a party standing on fiscal responsibility, like we have all year; standing on principle against the crazy policies that we see out of Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid -- the American people want to see us take these principled stands. And they want to see us continue to offer what we think are better solutions. If we can continue to do that, we'll have a broad cross-section of people in our party.

KING: As the House Republican leader and the man who would like to be speaker, how do you -- looking at what happened here, you think it's isolated; you hope it's isolated. What do you do when you're in a room with a Sarah Palin, a Governor Pawlenty, the Club for Growth, the people who attacked your party's nominee there?

What message do you send to them about -- I assume you'd want them to pick and choose future battles pretty carefully. You don't have much room for error in next year's elections if you want to get your ultimate goal.

BOEHNER: Well, we're in the middle of, I think, of a political rebellion going on in America. And this rebellion are by people who really have not been actively involved in the political process. And they don't really care whether you're a Democrat or a Republican. They want to see people who are going to stand up and protect the future for our kids and grandkids.

And so it's going to be a difficult road to walk, to work with relative -- relatively new entrants into the political system and to work with them to show them that, by and large, we are the party who represents their interests.

KING: Let me ask you, lastly, though, but sometimes does the party need to draw a line?

What's the point of having a party if people in your party will attack your own nominees? I mean, where do you draw that line?

BOEHNER: Listen, I'm a big believer in Ronald Reagan's 11 commandment -- 11th commandment. Never talk ill about another Republican.

KING: That was not followed in this race.

BOEHNER: I know.

KING: John Boehner, the House Republican leader, the man who hopes to be speaker, we appreciate your coming in here today.

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