Speaker John Boehner, responding to questions about remarks he made at a June 30 fundraiser, said he “enthusiastically” supports presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
“Listen: I’m going to be enthusiastic about voting for Gov. Romney in November. And I think the American people will be enthusiastic about voting for Gov. Romney in November,” the Ohio Republican said today at a press conference.
As reported by Roll Call, Boehner told an audience of 200-300 people at a fundraiser in Wheeling, W.Va., that aside from Romney’s “friends, relatives and fellow Mormons,” most people will be motivated to vote for him in opposition to Obama.
Boehner made the remarks when an unidentified woman asked during a question-and-answer session: “Can you make me love Mitt Romney?”
“No,” Boehner said. “Listen, we’re just politicians. I wasn’t elected to play God. The American people probably aren’t going to fall in love with Mitt Romney. I’ll tell you this: 95 percent of the people that show up to vote in November are going to show up in that voting booth, and they are going to vote for or against Barack Obama.
“Mitt Romney has some friends, relatives and fellow Mormons ... some people that are going to vote for him. But that’s not what this election is about. This election is going to be a referendum on the president’s failed economic policies.”
Asked whether he stands by the remarks today, Boehner said, “The point I was trying to make is very simply this: The election this November is going to be a referendum on the president’s failed economic policies. His policies have made the economy worse — they just haven’t worked, and they really have made it worse. So it’s going to be a referendum. I’ll be out there enthusiastically supporting him.”
At the press conference, Republicans hammered President Barack Obama on the economy and said a vote this week to repeal Obama’s 2010 health care bill is not a symbolic vote.
“Hope springs eternal,” Boehner said about his optimism that the repeal could become law.
The House has voted to repeal all or part of the Affordable Care Act several times this Congress, but the legislation died in the Democratically controlled Senate and would undoubtedly be vetoed by Obama.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., carries a musket on stage as he speaks during the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., on Thursday March 6, 2014.