GOP Strategy to Win Back Congress
This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," May 14, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, to Washington.
Did Republicans in Congress just get the wakeup call critics say they desperately needed to get? House Republicans launching a new agenda today, after losing yet another seat in the House just last night.
To the man turning these things around, Minority Leader John Boehner.
Congressman, always good to have you.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Good to be with you, Neil.
• Video: Watch Neil's interview with John Boehner
CAVUTO: Three key seats in a very short time, and the election has not even come yet, the big one. Are you worried?
I think last's night loss was a real disappointment. But I think Americans realize that Washington is broken. And, as Republicans, we need to show them that we can deliver for them the change that they deserve.
There are issues — whether it is the cost of gasoline, the cost of food, access and cost of health care, there are issues that Americans deeply care about. All they have gotten are broken promises from the Democrats. It is time for Republicans to show them that we can deliver this to them.
CAVUTO: But, you know, and maybe you're trying — I certainly know you're trying, Congressman — but it doesn't appear to register. And these states that were considered former Republican safe grounds, it's not registering. Are you worried?
BOEHNER: Well, there are a lot of reasons for the loss of those three seats. And, trust me, we're very disappointed in the loss of those three seats.
But, for us, all it should really do — and I told our colleagues this morning, it's time for us to get off the mat and show people that we can, in fact, deliver this change for them. It's just not rocket science.
CAVUTO: Well, how do you get them to suddenly buy that, Congressman? If for some reason, fairly or not, they're not — and maybe they're just anti-incumbent party of the White House and taking it out on you guys, how do you change that?
BOEHNER: Well, I think that you have to sit down with them, and you really have to walk them through the fact that we can produce more energy in the United States and bring down gas prices, that we can cover all Americans with health insurance in a plan that they control, not the government, and that we can do something about the rising cost of food in the United States.
I think that — that what they want is, they want change, but they want the kind of changes that they believe will help their family.
CAVUTO: But what if they believe, Congressman, that your idea of changing things doesn't wash with them, that maybe the pendulum has swung toward government, more government, they're open for more government, and you, you know, in your DNA are not, it's just not who you are and maybe not who your party says it is, and you're just out of touch with the times?
BOEHNER: Neil, I don't believe that Americans want to pay higher taxes for bigger government here in Washington.
That — they want to keep more of what they have, more of what they earn, so that they can...
CAVUTO: But they're — you know, I think they're being told, Congressman...
BOEHNER: ... they can deal with the rising costs.
CAVUTO: I understand what you're saying. But I think they're being told, "You're not going to have to pay for this. Just the rich are," and they're buying it. Let's say they're buying it.
What say you?
BOEHNER: I don't think they're buying it. Americans — Americans are — they are a lot smarter than a lot of politicians give them credit, and they understand...
CAVUTO: Well, they bought — well, they bought it in these three races, right? They bought it in these three races, right?
BOEHNER: No. Listen, a lot of reasons for the loss of those three races.
But Americans know that Washington's broken, and if we can't show them how to fix it and how to deliver the change that they deserve, then — then we don't deserve to be in the majority.
CAVUTO: Do you think, in the end, you're going to lose a lot more seats in the House and the Senate, when all is said and done?
BOEHNER: No, Neil, actually, I think that we're going to do a lot better than people think. John McCain appeals to almost all Republicans. He also appeals to a wide array of independents and conservative Democrats.
And let's not forget the damage that's being done between Senator Clinton and Senator Obama in this primary contest that has no end.
And, listen, at the end of the day, 173 days from now, we're going to have an election, and the American people will decide. And, so, for Republicans in the House and the Senate, we have got a lot of work to do to convince Americans that we can deliver the change that they deserve.
CAVUTO: Congressman, always good seeing you. Thank you for coming by.
BOEHNER: Neil, good to be with you.
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