Boehner, Cole Both 'Staying'
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) gamely tried to stay on message during a rough interview Sunday on "This Week With George Stephanopoulos," repeatedly emphasizing his party's efforts to bring "change" and denying suggestions that turnover in the leadership ranks is imminent (watch the interview here).
Boehner has been under fire, and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.) even more so, for losing three GOP-held seats in special elections in the last two months.
"Some in your party have suggested that you should resign in the wake of these special election losses. Will you?" asked Stephanopoulos.
After explaining that he has a long record as a reformer on the Hill, Boehner said, "I know what needs to be done. ... I'm staying."
As for Cole, Boehner said, "Tom and I had a very good meeting on Friday. ... Frank and constructive and positive."
"So he's staying as well?" Stephanopoulos asked.
"He's staying," Boehner said.
It has been clear since last week that Cole was not on his way out the door (at the moment, anyway). But it still must have been nice for Cole and his allies to hear Boehner say it on national television.
As for Boehner himself, Stephanopoulos may well be right that "some" in the GOP have suggested he should resign. But those dissident ranks include hardly any members of Congress. There is very little sentiment among House Republicans to actually get rid of Boehner now. What would be the point? Who would take over, and what could they do in six months to really change the party's dismal electoral equation?
Now, if the party loses a slew of seats in November, that could well prompt a challenge to Boehner and perhaps Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). But the cliche about not changing horses mid-stream appears applicable here, even if the GOP horse does appear to be trailing badly at the moment.
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