Columbus, OH -- House Minority Leader John Boehner didn’t deviate to much from his stump speech while campaigning in Ohio Saturday. In this last weekend before the midterm elections, he is making appearances in many of the Ohio districts that the GOP wants to wrestle away from the Democrats -- the very races that could allow them to take control of the House and Boehner to claim the title of speaker.
The one hiccup may have been a closed-to-press meet and greet for GOP volunteers in Toledo, OH where Boehner stood next to Richard Iott, who is running in Ohio’s 9th congressional district. Iott perhaps is best known for participating in World War II re-enactments that involve him dressing up in Nazi-garb. Although House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, who is Jewish, tried to distance himself from Iott earlier this month, Boehner looked happy to support him in a video some members of the press were allowed to watch after the event (but were not given a copy of).
As Iott left the Lucas County Republican headquarters yesterday, he was asked whether he would support Boehner for speaker. Iott's response: “I don’t know. We have to wait and see.” Boehner went in and out the back door of this event, much to the chagrin of the press and protesters waiting outside.
The minority leader’s other events -- which he rolled up to in a large bus -- went more smoothly. His visits to Canton and Zanesville were met with adoring crowds in districts where Democrats are vulnerable and the National Republican Congressional Committee has labeled the Republican candidates as “Young Guns.” This is the NRCC’s term for candidates who “give America the best opportunity to move our country in the right direction.”
In Canton, Boehner had nice words for Jim Renacci, the Republican running against first term incumbent Rep. John Boccieri (D) in Ohio’s 16th district. “We’ve got a lot of great candidates all around the country, but I’m going to tell you what. There’s no candidate who’s run a better campaign for the last year and a half then Jim Renacci.”
(Across town, which isn’t really all that far away, Boccieri was appearing with former President Bill Clinton when he received work his wife was going into labor. The family welcomed their fifth child into the world a little after 6:00 pm.)
John McCain won the 16th district in 2008, and it's currently considered to be a Toss Up. NBC’s political unit has said about this district, “If Republicans don’t win this seat, it could signal the GOP might have a tough time winning control.”
After an appearance in Hanoverton, OH, Boehner made his way to Zanesville to stump with congressional candidate Bob Gibbs and senate nominee Rob Portman. Zanesville is in Ohio’s 18th District, another one with a vulnerable Democrat, Rep. Zack Space. NBC News has also labeled this district a “Toss Up.”
Boehner told the Zanesville audience he understood what was going on in the real world outside of DC. “I come from a big family. I’ve got 11 brothers and sisters... The president and some others on the left try to paint me as though I’m out of touch with what’s going on in the real world. Listen, I’ve got two of my brothers who are unemployed. I’ve got two of my brother-in-laws that are unemployed. Don’t tell me I don’t understand what’s going on out in the streets of America and how desperate the situation is.”
Today, Boehner is supposed to appear in Columbus, OH with Republican congressional candidate Steve Stivers in a district represented by vulnerable first-term Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy. He follows that up with another appearance with Bob Gibbs in Chillicothe, OH.