WASHINGTON — Rep. John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, the House Republican leader, returned to the campaign trail Friday with a speech that attempted to frame the November election as a referendum on the Obama administration’s agenda — rather than simply a choice between candidates.
The speech represented a return of a defiant Boehner who delivered what is becoming his signature cry of “Hell, no!” as he takes on President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats.
“Ladies and gentlemen, your government hasn’t been listening,” Boehner said at a small manufacturing firm in West Chester, Ohio, a community in his home district.
“Your government is disrespecting you, your family, your job, your children. Your government is out of control. Do you have to accept it? Do you have to take it? Hell, no, you don’t. That’s what elections are for!”
Both parties are trying to focus the elections in the final weeks before Nov. 2. Democrats see political currency in framing the elections as a choice between candidates, often portraying GOP candidates as extreme and charging that they will return former President George W. Bush’s policies.
Boehner is in line to become the House speaker if Republicans win enough seats to take over the chamber, as many experts say could happen.
The president and the Ohio Republican have sparred on the campaign trail over the last six weeks, calling each other out by name.
In Friday’s speech, Boehner also discussed the GOP “Pledge to America,” a collection of legislative and governing goals that include extending the Bush-era tax cuts and reducing federal spending, and promises to post bills three days before votes.
He said the document not only would depart from Obama’s goals, but from those set by Republicans when they were last in power, under Bush.
“If we’re entrusted with the opportunity to govern, we are going to do things differently,” Boehner said.