Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


The Monitor Breakfast

What did John Boehner actually say about GOP and minority voters?

One media report suggested that House Speaker John Boehner told reporters Monday that he hoped minorities would not vote this fall. The video suggests differently. 

By Dave CookStaff writer / August 28, 2012

House Speaker John Boehner (R) of Ohio speaks at the Monitor Breakfast at Roy's Restaurant in Tampa, Fla., on Monday.

Sarah Beth Glicksteen/Special to the Christian Science Monitor

Enlarge

Washington

At a Monitor-hosted lunch with reporters on Monday in Tampa, Fla., House Speaker John Boehner was asked how Republicans could continue to win elections if the party did not do more to appeal to Hispanic and African-American voters.

Skip to next paragraph

Reports of what he said varied widely.

Jonathan Weisman of The New York Times reported that Boehner admitted his party’s problems with minorities and thought a sour economy would cause minority voters to stay away from the polls, hurting both parties.

A more inflammatory report came from The Atlantic Wire, whose headline said that “Boehner Says Out Loud He Hopes Blacks and Latinos 'Won't Show Up' This Election.” The Atlantic Wire, which did not attend the lunch, cited a report on Talking Points Memo, a political news site known for a liberal editorial voice.

But Mr. Boehner never used the word “hope.” Here is what he did say, and the context for it. 

At the lunch session, Stephanie Kirchgaessner of the Financial Times noted that the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll had Mitt Romney receiving zero percent support from African-American voters.  

“Can the Republican Party continue to win general presidential elections if they don’t appeal to more voters than they are today in terms of nonwhite voters,” she asked.

Boehner replied: “You know we’ve never done well with those groups. But think about who this economic downturn has affected the most: blacks, Hispanics, young people. Fifty percent of college graduates are unemployed or underemployed. And I think our economic message in this election cycle will help us recruit more of those groups than we would have otherwise.” 

He continued: “But I think it’s important for our party, if we’re going to be a national party, we’ve got to reach out. And that means showing up in their neighborhoods. It’s a tall order, but it can be done."

Ms. Kirchgaessner followed up by asking, “Has it happened so far? Is your party doing that right now?”

Boehner responded: “This election is about economics. These groups have been hit the hardest. And they may not show up and vote for our candidate, but I suggest to you that they won’t show up and vote for the president, either.”

Media watchdog website Mediaite called The Atlantic Wire headline "misleading." The Atlantic Wire has released a defense of its headline.

RECOMMENDED: Why conventions still matter (+video)

Permissions

Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story
The Monitor Breakfast on FORA.tv

Subscribe for full video access to one of Washington's premier forums

  • Full-length Breakfast videos
  • Access to the video archives
  • E-mail alerts after every Breakfast event

Sign up for:

Sign up for full video access

Already a subscriber?

Log-in

Doing Good

 

What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

 
 
Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!
[Alt-Text]