Quotes of the day

The National Republican Congressional Committee wants to make sure there are no Todd Akin-style gaffes next year, so it’s meeting with top aides of sitting Republicans to teach them what to say — or not to say — on the trail, especially when their boss is running against a woman.

Speaker John Boehner is serious, too. His own top aides met recently with Republican staff to discuss how lawmakers should talk to female constituents.

“Let me put it this way, some of these guys have a lot to learn,” said a Republican staffer who attended the session in Boehner’s office.

There have been “multiple sessions” with the NRCC where aides to incumbents were schooled in “messaging against women opponents,” one GOP aide said.


House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday that some Republican members of Congress just aren’t very sensitive when it comes to women’s issues.

He confirmed that he has personally tried to help his party get better at talking to women.

“I try to get them to be a little more sensitive,” he said. “You know, you look around the Congress and there are a lot more females in the Democratic caucus then in the Republican caucus, and some of our members just aren’t as sensitive as they ought to be.”



Virginia Rep. Randy Forbes, a senior House Republican eyeing a powerful committee chairmanship, is causing friction with some of his colleagues by pushing the House GOP campaign arm to deny support for some of the party’s gay congressional candidates.

Forbes has waged a lengthy crusade to convince his colleagues and the National Republican Congressional Committee brass they shouldn’t back some gay candidates. His efforts on Capitol Hill were described to POLITICO by more than a half-dozen sources with direct knowledge of the talks.

The issue is particularly acute because House Republicans have two promising openly gay candidates in 2014 vying for seats held by Democrats. Richard Tisei, who narrowly lost to Democratic Rep. John Tierney in 2012, is running again in northeastern Massachusetts. And in San Diego, Carl DeMaio, a former city councilman, is trying to knock off Democratic Rep. Scott Peters…

Asked about Boehner’s policy toward gay candidates, an aide pointed to several contributions the Ohio Republican made to Tisei during the past election cycle. Boehner also visited Boston to raise money for Tisei during the summer of 2012.


House Speaker John Boehner announced his support for out gay House candidates in a morning news conference Thursday, a move that prompted some support from LGBT groups but also some raised eyebrows from House Democrats.

Asked if he supports efforts by the Republican Party to support gay candidates running for House seats, Boehner replied, “I do.”

A gay House Democrat and one of the leading LGBT allies in the House, though, questioned the value of Boehner’s support. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, an out gay, first-term Democrat in New York, told BuzzFeed, “Talk is cheap — it does little good to support gay candidates if you’re willing to fire gay Americans,” a reference to Boehner’s stated opposition to bringing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to a vote in the House…

“You either want Republicans to win, or you don’t — it’s as simple as that. Apparently, Congressman Forbes does not. Thankfully, the real GOP leaders in the House know how to pick winners, and their money is on Richard Tisei and Carl DeMaio,” [Log Cabin Republican] executive director Gregory Angelo said. “Speaker Boehner gets it: He wants to win. The only loser in all of this is Rep. Forbes, who has been smoked out as an out-of-touch, intra-party saboteur.”


The NRCC is right not to get involved in picking primary winners — that’s for the voters to decide. Period.

But the NRCC’s job is to get the nominees elected. Period. So when Forbes says he won’t say whether the NRCC would support a particular nominee, he’s hinting that the voters had best “chose wisely” if they want their candidate to receive NRCC support.

So the way I read this is, Forbes wants to post a “No Gays Allowed” sign in front of the House GOP caucus.

Rather than go on and on about how stupid that is, I’ll just borrow Stacy McCain’s formulation again: You don’t build a winning coalition by a process of subtraction.