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In Louisville, Boehner says Dems ethics troubles not a big factor in campaign

by Joe Arnold


Posted on August 4, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 4 at 5:01 PM

In Louisville today, U.S. House Minority Leader John Boehner made the case for a Republican takeover of the House, but he said he does not expect that the ethics cases against two prominent House Democrats will be a significant factor.

"It's a sad day for the House when members are charged with violating the rules of the House," Boehner said, "This is going to play itself out, but I don't expect it's going to have a big impact on the election."

Boehner spoke exclusively with WHAS11 Political Editor Joe Arnold following a fundraiser for Republican Congressional candidate Todd Lally, who Boehner acknowledged has an "uphill climb" against two term incumbent Democrat John Yarmuth. 

"I'm here in Louisville today to help Todd because I think he's a first class candidate who has a real chance of winning," Boehner said.

After Lally released an internal poll on July 1 that showed him and Yarmuth in a statistical dead heat,  Yarmuth released his own poll on July 22 which showed Yarmuth with a 26 point lead.

Boehner will need upsets from lesser known candidates like Lally for the GOP to overcome the 78 seat advantage of the Democrats.

"We need to win every race we can," Boehner said, "and this is a great example of a seat we can win.  He's got an uphill fight, but he can do it."

"We're going to bring the fight to John Yarmuth," Lally said, "You can ignore me as long as you want, but I'm going to be bringing it to you."

"I think he is not taking us seriously," Lally continued, "He's not on the campaign trail.  I outraised him last quarter, fundraising.  So I think he's taking me lightly and he's campaigning very lazily."

Repeating comments he made to about 300 Lally backers at The Olmsted, Boehner said he's "all in" on taking over the House this year. 

"Everything I'm doing, 24/7 trying to help our team win the majority so that we can fight for a smaller, less costly more accountable government," Boehner said.

Does that mean he's running for Speaker of the House, now?

"I'm running to elect as many Republicans as I can," Boehner said in the interview, "to help return our country to a country that people believe in."

During Boehner's speech, however, he referenced his aspiration to replace Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as Speaker of the House.

In a speech Monday, President Obama made the case against a Republican Congress.

"These are the folks who were behind the steering wheel and drove the car into the ditch," said Mr. Obama, adding that the Republican Congress in his metaphor have been standing to the side and watching while he tries to push the car out of the ditch.

Boehner pledges that if he becomes Speaker, it will be different this time.

"I just think that Republicans in the past have lost their way.  It's time for us to get serious about how we spend the people's money.  And I do think it's time to build more bipartisanship in the Congress as well," Boehner said.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Yarmuth's campaign manager issued a statement, criticizing Boehner.

" The House Republican Leader has repeatedly called for cutting and privatizing Social Security, a dangerous plan that gambles seniors' retirement in the stock market," said Elizabeth Sawyer, who also criticized Lally for calling Social Security a "Ponzi Scheme."