Paul Poyfair, Lincoln City, Ore. center, takes a phone call while his son, James Poyfair, left, and Deborah Lane, Crescent City, Fla. applaud during former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio's address to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen) (AP)

Boehner: GOP will "walk amongst" the tea party crowd

The House minority leader says Republicans, if they win power this fall, will work with the conservative activists


Mike Madden
February 19, 2010 2:19AM (UTC)

If Republicans take back the House this fall, expect the tea party crowd to have quite a bit of sway with the party in power.

"We're going to listen to the tea party movement," House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, told CPAC Thursday afternoon. "While the other side is busy mocking the tea partiers and calling them names, we're going to listen to them, we're going to work with them and stand with them, and we're going to walk amongst them ... The other party will never do that." (That last part is almost certainly true.)

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Boehner also tried to look ahead a bit to what a Republican House would do. But most of what he talked about involved process, not policy -- post legislation online, ban earmarks dropped in at the last stage of legislation, outlaw earmarks that name things after the lawmakers who wrote them. The policy will come later this year, he said.

"In the months ahead, we're going to tell the nation exactly what we'd do differently if we're entrusted with their power," Boehner said. "But it's not going to be a document handed down from on high that would land with something like a thud, all right? It's going to be built by listening. We're going to listen to things like the Contract for America. We're going to listen to things like the Mt. Vernon statement ... Our manifesto, whatever it will be called, will come from the people who are really in charge of the country, and that's the American people."

Stay tuned, in other words, for a better glimpse of the GOP future. Just remember: It'll look a lot like a tea party.


Mike Madden

Mike Madden is Salon's Washington correspondent. A complete listing of his articles is here. Follow him on Twitter here.

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