What did John Boehner actually say about GOP and minority voters?
One media report suggested that House Speaker John Boehner told reporters Monday that he hoped minorities would not vote this fall. The video suggests differently.
At a Monitor-hosted lunch with reporters on Monday in Tampa, Fla., House Speaker John Boehner was asked how Republicans could continue to win elections if the party did not do more to appeal to Hispanic and African-American voters.
Reports of what he said varied widely.
Jonathan Weisman of The New York Times reported that Boehner admitted his party’s problems with minorities and thought a sour economy would cause minority voters to stay away from the polls, hurting both parties.
A more inflammatory report came from The Atlantic Wire, whose headline said that “Boehner Says Out Loud He Hopes Blacks and Latinos 'Won't Show Up' This Election.” The Atlantic Wire, which did not attend the lunch, cited a report on Talking Points Memo, a political news site known for a liberal editorial voice.
But Mr. Boehner never used the word “hope.” Here is what he did say, and the context for it.
At the lunch session, Stephanie Kirchgaessner of the Financial Times noted that the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll had Mitt Romney receiving zero percent support from African-American voters.
“Can the Republican Party continue to win general presidential elections if they don’t appeal to more voters than they are today in terms of nonwhite voters,” she asked.