House Speaker John Boehner, in an interview with Fox News, accused President Obama of employing the politics of "envy and division" in his bid for a second White House term.
The speaker had unusually harsh words for the incumbent president as he described the stakes in the 2012 election. He said Americans "can't live" with Obama for another four years and that "his policies will turn America in a direction that we may never recover from" -- as he touted Mitt Romney's chances going into November.
Though polls generally show the presumptive GOP nominee trailing a bit behind Obama in a general election match-up, Boehner said Romney is "doing fine" considering the "bruising primary" he's been through. He accused Obama's team of trying to distract from the issues that could harm them, like the economy.
"The election's going to be a referendum on the president's economic policies, pure and simple," Boehner told Fox News, in an interview that aired Tuesday morning.
The speaker said Obama's election team, with its "division" politics, is trying to make the election about "anything other than the president's failed economic policies."
"They're going to look for every bogeyman known to man," Boehner said.
Boehner was responding specifically to a recent comment from Obama strategist David Axelrod, who accused some congressional Republicans of waging a "reign of terror from the far right" that has pulled the entire party to their side.
Boehner, though, showed a shred of doubt in the Fox News interview as he discussed the upcoming congressional elections.
He gave his Republican Party a "2-in-3 chance" of holding control of the House after taking power in the 2010 elections.
"But there's a 1-in-3 chance we could lose," Boehner added. "I'm being myself -- frank. We've got a big challenge, and we've got work to do."
Democrats still face an uphill battle in their efforts to take back the House, where Republicans hold a 242-190 seat advantage.
Control of the Senate could be up for grabs this year, too, with Democrats clinging to a fragile six-vote majority.
Boehner said Romney is in good standing going into the presidential race.
"For his numbers to be in close proximity to the president, I think is a very good sign," Boehner said.