Talking About a 'Revolution' in Massachusetts

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," January 20, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: House Minority Leader John Boehner says a political rebellion is happening in our country right now. And according to Congressman Boehner, last night's stunner in Massachusetts is just the beginning. He went "On the Record."


VAN SUSTEREN: Press Secretary Gibbs said that he was surprised at the results, but he also said President Obama was surprised. Are you surprised?



BOEHNER: I've been telling people for nine months that there's a political rebellion going on in America. We saw it manifest itself in August with people showing up to these town hall meetings, and we saw it manifest itself again in New Jersey and in Virginia when two Republicans were elected governor.

It manifested itself again last night in Massachusetts of all places. The American people are saying enough is enough.

And while it was a lot about health care, it's not just health care. It's all the spending and debt that's being accumulated here. It's their national energy tax. It's their -- bringing the terrorists to America to put him on trial.

The American people are opposed to all of these policies, and they are saying, stop. Our concerns are about the economy and asking the question, where are the jobs?

VAN SUSTEREN: When you came to work today, was there a bounce out of the step of the Democrats, or is it just business as usual? This is the Senate that this is happening to, not the House, but it profoundly affects the House and the agendas of both parties.

What was it like among your colleagues on other side of the aisle in the House?

BOEHNER: This election was more than just about the Senate. This was a signal to Washington from the American people via the people of Massachusetts. My Democrat colleagues today in the House felt it just as strongly, as it was intended by the American people.

And I've watched their comments all day and listen to their comments all day and they are backpedaling, all except the speaker. The speaker says full speed ahead. We are going to do this health care bill one way or another, defying what the American people are saying.

VAN SUSTEREN: What is your prediction on health care, because now there's sort of a wrench in the cycle of what the Democrats thought was going to happen. Now they've lost the filibuster-proof Senate. How do you see all of this unraveling?

BOEHNER: It looks to me from everything I've heard thus far that they are going to find a way by hook or by crook to shove this bill through the House and to the president's desk. I'm not sure how they're going to do it. I think their options clearly got very limited last night. But they're determined to get this done.

And I can tell you that Republicans are going to stand with the American people in doing everything we can to oppose this. But we need the American people to stay engaged in this fight, because if the American people stay engaged, we can stop this bill.

VAN SUSTEREN: The more liberal Democrats who have safe districts can continue along the same path. They don't have to worry necessarily about November. But what about the conservative Democrats in the House? Have you -- have they said anything to you, or do you see them as trying to be on a different path for health care than their colleagues?

BOEHNER: I haven't heard much out of the more moderate Democrat members. But I heard one prominent liberal Democrat member today say if they tried to bring the Senate health care bill up in the House it wouldn't get 100 votes. I agree with him.

VAN SUSTEREN: President Obama now has got to give a State of the Union on the 27th of January. What do you think -- I assume it has changed in the last 24 hours in terms of of how he intends to approach this. Any advice for him?

BOEHNER: If I were the president, I would acknowledge what has happened over the last year. While people like the president, and, frankly, I like the president, his policies, though, are way out of step with what the American people were expecting from him, and certainly out of step with any ability to work with Republicans.

We've offered to work with the president all year. We've been shut out, shut out, and shut out.

And so if I were the president, I would come before the American people and say, listen, I've heard you loud and clear. I'm going to make a renewed effort to keep my campaign promises to work in a more bipartisan way on things we can come together on to help improve our economy and get people back to work.

VAN SUSTEREN: When the election happened in Virginia and that went to a Republican governor, I think everyone thought that's Virginia. Then in New Jersey, and I thought that is a peculiar that it went for a Republican governor.

This though is almost cataclysmic in the sense that most people didn't see this coming. This was a Kennedy-held seat and a very liberal state, and now they've got a Republican senator. So do you think that the Democrats don't see the message that they need to sort of regroup?

BOEHNER: I think a lot of Democrat members really do understand this was a seismic shift and whether -- if they didn't hear it in August or they didn't hear it November, they clearly heard it last night.

But I understand that the left thinks this is the best opportunity they've had in 50 years to show through their agenda of more government answers to America's problems.

And if you look at the health care bill as an example -- forget the government option, forget some of the little pieces that were talked about -- there's still 100 boards, commissions, mandates in there. It's a giant infrastructure that they want to put into the government. Look at our cap and trade -- a huge infrastructure of controlling energy use in America.

And so the left, which would be the speaker and Senator Harry Reid and the president, really do want to do as much as they can while they can. But their ability to do it now is limited.

VAN SUSTEREN: Republicans gloating today?

BOEHNER: No gloating.

VAN SUSTEREN: No gloating? Come on.

BOEHNER: No, no. This was a win for the American people and a win for the people of Massachusetts. And it is really about them winning. All I want to tell the American people is we're going to stand with them and fight this fight, and win.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thanks very much.


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