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Speaker John Boehner pledges offensive drive for House seats

Speaker John Boehner outlines strategy for gaining a bigger House majority for GOP: keep on the offense. And if Obama wins? If required, Boehner says, he can find 'common ground' with him.

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House Speaker John Boehner (R) of Ohio speaks at a Monitor-hosted lunch at Roy's Restaurant in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 27.

Sarah Beth Glicksteen/Special to The Christian Science Monitor

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Elected speaker in January 2011, Rep. John Boehner (R) of Ohio is the highest-ranking Republican in Washington. He was the guest at a Monitor-hosted lunch at the Republican National Convention on Aug. 27.

The need to revamp political conventions:

"These are very expensive propositions to put on.... [Given] the way [people] get their news, I'm not sure that having a four-day convention for the future makes a lot of sense."

The role of party platforms:

"Have you ever met anybody who has read the party platform? I've not ever met anybody. It ought to be on one sheet of paper.... That way Americans could actually read it."

The GOP's need to appeal more to nonwhite voters:

"It's important for our party, if we're going to be a national party. We've got to reach out. And that means showing up in their neighborhoods. It's a tall order, but it can be done."

His role in the 2012 House elections:

"My goal is [to] gain seats.... I'm going to keep our team on offense all the way through Election Day."

If President Obama is reelected:

"I have no doubt that, if required, I can find common ground with the president.... I never give up on the president regardless of who is occupying that office."

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