Boehner Warns Democrats Against Dismissing Tea Party Protesters

Posted April 15, 2010 at 2:20pm

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday that the anti-tax protesters should not be underestimated and that Democrats who dismiss them “better look out.”

“These people are only the tip of the iceberg. … You all know that 90 percent of the iceberg you don’t see,” Boehner told reporters during a Tax Day press conference with Republican leaders. “They represent the same concerns, the same worries, the same fears of tens of millions of additional Americans who just haven’t quite gotten off the couch or out of the easy chair and into the street.”

“Democrats better look out,” Boehner added.

While no member of Republican leadership was scheduled to speak at Wednesday’s tea party rally at the Washington Monument, Boehner said he received a warm welcome at a tea party rally in Orlando, Fla., on Monday.

“We are proving to the tea party people that we are earning their respect and their vote,” he said. “I’ve said earlier this year we are going to talk with them, we are going to listen to them and we are going to walk amongst them and then earn their support this November.”

But Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) contended that tea party activists will have a greater influence on Republicans in 2010.

“I think that some of the competition we see is in their primaries,” Pelosi told reporters during her weekly press briefing Thursday.

GOP leaders also used Wednesday’s tax filing deadline to reiterate their argument that the health care reform law will raise taxes on small businesses and kill jobs.

Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) said several medical device manufacturers in her district have suggested that the taxes imposed on their products under the new law could cripple them.

“The president and this Democrat majority now say they are going to focus on jobs. The problem is that their focus is on killing jobs,” Miller said.

Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee, added, “If it’s health-care related, there’s a tax for it.”