Boehner: Romney is 'the perfect guy at the perfect time'

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," August 29, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: While the main thrust of this week is the Romney-Ryan ticket, House Speaker, John Boehner, has another mission. Retain control of the House.  I talked with him a short time ago about the public perception of Congress and specifically about Paul Ryan accepting the vice presidential nomination for his party.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R – OH, HOUSE SPEAKER: I'm proud that he's part of our team, member of the House Republican conference to be chosen as our vice presidential candidate. It's a big honor for him and a big honor for our team. But I think Paul Ryan knows more about the debt crisis that's facing our country than almost anybody in Congress.

Paul Ryan knows more about the pro-growth economic policies, to get our economy growing again, and put Americans back to work. I think it's a great choice. It really says an awful lot about Mitt Romney. That he was willing to take Paul Ryan. He could have taken some safer choices. He could have gone some easier paths.

But what it says to me is that Mitt Romney really has to be on offense to win this election. And he's got to be on offense in order to govern when he wins in November.

BAIER: The band is cranking it out already on practice mode. But let me ask you, do you think that this election will be a bold election or do you think that we're going to fall back into kind of the back and forth that we usually see in general election fights?

BOEHNER: The election is all about the economy. The president's policies have failed. It actually made things worse. And as a result, the presidents have to turn to the politics of envy and division. Mitt Romney knows how to fix our economy. That's what our -- that's what we need today. And I think it's all going to be about the economy and jobs.

BAIER: There a lot of things pending in Congress before the end of the year. How is that all going to get done before January 1st, 2013?

BOEHNER: I think you're going to have ask Harry Reid. The House passed a bill that would extend all of the current tax rates for one year so that we can revise and reform our tax bill. The House passed a bill to take care of the upcoming sequester, to replace it for the next couple of years, pending in the United States Senate. It's time for the Senate to do its work. The House has done its work.

BAIER: But is there going to be some kind of compromise that comes together before the end of the year?

BOEHNER: How about regular order? The House has passed a bill for each of these. The Senate has to pass a bill. And then, we'll come to some agreement. But until the Senate acts, there's nothing the House can do.

BAIER: So, when people say, listen, we're really worried about this fiscal cliff, what do you say?

BOEHNER: It's a nightmare. I'm worried about it, too. That's why the House has acted. We've done our work, waiting for the Senate to do theirs.

BAIER: Congress is not getting good marks overall. Every poll you look at, it's down at low double digits, some lower than that. You're the House Speaker. Does that bother you?

BOEHNER: Listen, I understand the American people's frustration with what's going on in the economy, the lack of jobs, and what they see as a lack of progress in Washington. The House over the last 18 months, we've done what the American people have asked to us do. Jobs bill, after jobs bill, after jobs bill.

Almost all of them are sitting over in the United States Senate. And so, I understand our frustration. Trying to direct it in the right place, their frustration.

BAIER: Yes. So, you're confident or at least optimistic that this is going to get resolved before the end of the year?

BOEHNER: I think it has to get resolved. I think letting the tax rates go up will be a disaster for our economy, letting the sequester go into effect will weaken our national defense and hollow up our military. It's totally unacceptable. But, the frustration for me and my members, it's that we've done our work. I mean, watch Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats do nothing. It's very frustrating.

BAIER: You're a politician who's done a lot of retail campaigning in Ohio. You know how it is to shake hands and talk to people. The criticism of Mitt Romney is that he doesn't have the likability factor that President Obama has, that he doesn't emote and tell his own story. What do you think about that?

BOEHNER: It's all about the economy. That's the whole election. The president can't run on his record. The American people, if you look at all the polls, they want somebody that'll fix our economy and get jobs growth going again. Mitt Romney's got a real record of producing jobs. He's the perfect guy at the perfect time.

BAIER: This is what he said to Parade magazine. He said, quote, "I'm emotional. I don't show it quite as clearly as John Boehner, but I'm an emotional person. There is a, I don't know, a societal norm that if you're running for office, you can't be emotional, and perhaps, I bow to that too often."

BOEHNER: I don't.


BOEHNER: I just don't. You should have seen me last night, watching Ann Romney give the speech, I was a mess.

BAIER: You were a mess?

BOEHNER: I was a mess. She did a great job.

BAIER: And you think Paul Ryan will --

BOEHNER: I think Paul Ryan will do great tonight. You know, he's an energetic guy. He's a fit guy. And he has a real message. And I know that all of my House Republican colleagues will be glued to the tube or sitting in the seats here, ready to hear a big speech.

BAIER: Mr. Speaker, thank you very much for your time.

BOEHNER: Thank you.


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