U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, predicted Monday that come November, Illinois Republicans will have the most successful year they’ve had in the Land of Lincoln in more than two decades.
“This is a real opportunity. Why? Frankly, it’s going to be a Republican year,” Boehner said on a stop in Bolingbrook. “Illinois is probably going to have the best Republican year that we’ve had in over 20 years.”
On recess from Congress, Boehner made the remarks at a fundraising event in Bolingbrook for Darlene Senger, a state representative who is attempting to unseat U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, a Democrat.
“From top to bottom, we’re really fortunate to have such a strong slate of Republican candidates working together for victory in Illinois,” Boehner said. “Our grass-roots, door-to-door campaigns and voter mobilization programs are stronger than ever — and we hope it will pay off big in November.”
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During his brief remarks, Boehner did not elaborate on whether he was referencing the big-money candidacy of Republican Bruce Rauner, but that is the marquee Illinois race this November. Rauner’s running mate, Evelyn Sanguinetti, attended the event Monday. Rauner has donated more than $30,000 to Boehner.
Boehner’s stump in Illinois is the beginning of a 35-day bus trip that will take him to 25 congressional districts. Nationally, Boehner predicted Republicans have a “great chance” of winning the U.S. Senate but he said it was important to boost numbers in the U.S. House. In 2012, Illinois Democrats trounced Republicans in contested congressional races, including in the 11th District, where Foster ousted longtime Republican incumbent Judy Biggert.
“This district was gerrymandered without our say and we wake up every day with a representative with someone who doesn’t believe in our values and the vision for our future,” Senger told the crowd before introducing Boehner.
In his remarks, Boehner painted a rosy picture of the U.S. House, as hardworking and collaborative only to be stymied by the U.S. Senate.
“There are two bodies in Congress. One’s working our rear ends off and frankly you’d be surprised all the stuff that we do is done on a bipartisan basis,” Boehner said. Senate Majority Leader “Harry Reid didn’t even try to pass a border bill that passed last Friday.”