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Boehner Looks Ahead Through Rose-Colored Glasses

At a luncheon with reporters today organized by the Christian Science Monitor, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) declined to echo the electoral pessimism voiced of late by many of his GOP colleagues. "I think this is going to be a far better Republican year than most people in this town are talking about," he said, later vowing, "I think we will gain seats this year. Period."

John Boehner
Rep. John Boehner is optimistic about the GOP's prospects in November.

Is Boehner looking at the world through rose-colored glasses? In a way, yes, as the Ohioan made clear in a lengthy anecdote about his meeting last week with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Boehner took an official trip across North Africa with a handful of colleagues last week and the itinerary included a visit with the infamous Libyan colonel. Recounting a surreal-sounding journey, Boehner said he met with Gaddafi in a white tent in the middle of the desert, miles from civilization and far from Tripoli, where the meeting was supposed to take place (the lawmakers' plane was diverted to a new location just minutes before it was supposed to land in the Libyan capital).

Engaging briefly in diplo-speak, Boehner said the two men had a "very frank discussion." At one point, Gaddafi -- wearing shades throughout the meeting, as he is known to do -- pulled out a case with another pair of sunglasses and handed them to Boehner. Leaning in close to the Minority Leader, Gaddafi said: "Desert not kind to blue eyes."

Boehner obliged and put the shades on, and Gaddafi told him to keep them at the end of the meeting. "So now I have this pair of glasses from Col. Gaddafi," Boehner said.

But the bulk of Boehner's thoughts today were not about his Libyan adventure, and the Ohioan generally exuded confidence about the GOP's current electoral standing, particularly in the presidential race.

Boehner said the marathon Democratic primary battle would certainly aid Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in November, as "the longer this fight goes on, the more disappointed one side or the other is going to be." Pointing out that Democrats currently control 61 House districts won by President Bush in 2004, Boehner predicted "John McCain will win more than 61 Democrat-held seats."

Boehner did acknowledge that his party has not helped its cause so far on the fundraising front. "Some of you heard me say: On the resource side, we suck. You can put all the lipstick on a pig you want," he said.

Boehner did predict that the GOP's cash balance would improve as members stepped up to help the party. Asked for an example of a Republican lawmaker who has already done so, Boehner said, "Ron Paul wrote a check! Ron Paul! First time ever!"

The former Texas presidential candidate has apparently donated a sizable sum to the National Republican Congressional Committee, but the NRCC needs all the help it can get to defend the open seats of more than two-dozen retiring GOP lawmakers. Boehner argued that those retirements wouldn't change the shape of the playing field much, and even said, "There are some retirements that are probably good."

Boehner also said he believed Republicans were unifying behind McCain's campaign, that he didn't think McCain would pick a member of Congress as his running mate and that he did not believe high Democratic turnout in the primaries would have much of an impact on the general election. No, Boehner did not wear his new, Gaddafi-gifted sunglasses during the luncheon. It only seemed that way.

By Ben Pershing  |  April 3, 2008; 4:57 PM ET
Categories:  2008 Campaign , GOP Leaders  
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Comments

The Republican Party has destroyed America's economy, its status in the World and stood by while George Bush shredded the Constitution and left a dysfunctional federal Government in ruin. Why don't they just take the money they stole and leave. Real Americans will rise to the challenge and fix the country.

Good Riddance!!!

Posted by: thebob.bob | April 4, 2008 1:24 AM | Report abuse

No - it's not rose-colored glasses giving Boehner his optimism. It is his belief that the rigged voting machines are going to come through again for the GOP.

Posted by: myvotecounts | April 4, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I don't think any one thing has bought this financial problem upon us. Americans feel that the goverment owes them the right to live the ultament dream. We assure each citizen they have the right to drive a new car by getting home equity loans, eating steak by getting food stamps, living in a three bedroom two bath house by getting federal assistance,grow old with ss and free medical care. Yes, we are a country looking thru rose colored glasses. Now who is going to pay the real price? Forget republicans or democrates vote for responibility. We still do not know where the canidates stand except on their own ego.

Posted by: Jean Gaines | April 4, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

The posting of Jean Gaines is right on the mark. As to that of thebob.bob I wonder where he has been all his life. This economy has seen positive growth, full employment, and low inflation for the past 6 years. If he beleives we are in a bad economy I wonder what his reaction would have been if he had to live through the Carter years. I wonder what his reaction and thoughts woud be if he had to sit in a line of autos stretching around the block to fill up his gas tank...and by the way, no topping off! I guess he believes as do most Americans apparently that they are entitled to the good life and somebody else must pay for it. I think he and others like him should just go down the street in their neighborhood and ask the neighbors to pay for his food (food Stamps anyone) his house (Mortgage bailout anyone) his medical care (Medicaid/Meidcare anyone) so he can sit back and enjoy life. After all he is not a lot different from about half this country in they certainly expect to get something for nothing. I cannot fathom how this country would fare if we had to experience the Carter years again let alone those of the Greatest Generation (10 years of depression, etc.)Sad indeed what the children of the Greatest Generation have become.

Posted by: Randy Dailey | April 4, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson
Has Already Received His PERSONAL BAIL-OUT

Under Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson%u2019s .. Former leadership at
Goldman Sachs, the company has been instrumental to its penetration of Western
capital and other markets. - - Henry Paulson was vastly effective in Communist
China%u2019s .. Interests and enabling their access to Western economic assistance
and high technology

In late January 2006, Goldman Sachs purchased a stake in the Industrial and
Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China%u2019s biggest bank, for $2.58 billion
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson''s .. Personal stake .. In this transaction
was $25 million

A PERSONAL BAIL OUT for : Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and His
Criminal Friends

(Mar 27, 2008 (ruters.com) BBC) ... White House Resists Pleas for .. Mortgage Bailout
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As clamor rises for federal help for homeowners
who face losing their homes .. U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson .. Seems
to be digging in heels against the effort.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Paulson sounded a tougher note than ever against any
possibility of bailout for individual mortgage holders, singling out the growing number
going "under water" as their loans exceed the diminishing value of their properties.

The Bush administration says a Homeowner Bailout is Not only - Unnecessary
But would be excessively costly.

Massive .. Bank Fraud and Bank Embezzlement ... Was Once a Criminal Act ! ! !

but this is ok, right congress!!!!!!!! just f-americans loseing thier homes because of these wall street mafia

Posted by: foramerica | April 4, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

did everyone notice what happen after bearstearns sold out to jp//at 2 dollars a share..by the end of the day, more than 200 million were bought up????sounds alittle funny. because what look one week later the price went to 10 dollars???

lets see who bought all thoughs shares, i would bet it was many in the meeting and jp/and bears heads..

someone should look into this matter!!!

right congress..lets see if paulson or ben bought any shares at 2 dollars?????

Posted by: foramerica | April 4, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: votenic | April 4, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

That's Boehner's job, to look through rose colored glass, and give a optimistic forecast for the coming elections. This article is terrible. What do people expect the GOP to fold because the President sucks? I love the comments that the Republican party has destroyed America and the economy. So apparently according to this logic the democrats are so weak that they can't do anything about anything. Oh yeah that's right, democrats were there and did vote roughly the same as the Republicans. It takes a Congress to pass a bill not a party. It's not a party thing people. It's right and wrong. Wake up to the madness. www.madnessletters.com.

Posted by: Bradyn | April 4, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Randy Daily could be the poster boy for the Republican Party. I have to admire his open shamelessness in not wanting anything to do with helping anyone but himself and his kind. I am curious. Does he see himself as a Christian? Does he know about the Golden Rule?

Posted by: Mary Alice | April 4, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

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