The PJ Tatler

Boehner: You Try Winning with a Name That Looks Like 'Boner'

If you think House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) 13 terms in office have been easy, he said, try running a campaign with a name that looks like “boner.”

Boehner was asked Sunday morning on CNN about the 2016 presidential landscape and the knock-down, drag-outs within the GOP that could leave their candidates much more bruised than Hillary Clinton.

“I think competition is a good thing,” Boehner said. “You know, I used to sell corrugated boxes. And they could buy the box from me or from 25 other people. It’s the same box. But it was — it was tough. But let me tell you what. It made all of us better, you know? It caused innovation, caused people to think outside the box. And so I’m a big believer in competition. I have 11 brothers and sisters, all right?”

He stressed that “when you go through a primary process and you have to compete… if you win, you’re ready.”

“Listen, I went through a primary my first race for the statehouse, went through a big primary my first race for Congress. You know, when your name looks like ‘Beaner,’ ‘Bonner,’ ‘Boner,’ people aren’t going to vote for you if they can’t say your name,” Boehner said.

“In my first race for Congress, my opponent was Tom Kindness. Now, you try to have a name that looks like ‘Boner’ running against a guy named Kindness. It’s a miracle I won.”

So, the speaker concluded, “competition is good.”

“In addition to that, you know, they have tightened up the primary season, the Republican National Committee has, and changed the schedule for debates. And I just think it’s going to be — while a lot of competition, it’s going to be handled in a much better way,” he said.

Asked about Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) presidential campaign and the senator taking public health insurance since his wife is taking leave from her job at Goldman Sachs, Boehner punted: “I have got a big job to do here doing real work. And I think I will just keep doing my job.”

He said he’ll continue to want to be speaker “until I have had enough of it,” and called stories of attempted coups against his leadership “laughable.”

“Listen, I have got great relationships with our members and great relationships with our members across the aisle,” Boehner said. “I treat them all fairly, honestly, and I think they appreciate the work that I do for them.”