Boehner stops in Naples to seek support for Romney, Radel

Corey Perrine/Staff
John Boehner speaks with the media Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 at the Naples Republican Headquarters in Naples, Fla. Speaker of the House John Boehner came to support 19th District Republican Congressional Nominee, Trey Radel, along with Naples City Mayor John Sorey all backing Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in this coming U.S. presidential election. Dozens came out to support the political figures.

Photo by COREY PERRINE // Buy this photo

Corey Perrine/Staff John Boehner speaks with the media Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 at the Naples Republican Headquarters in Naples, Fla. Speaker of the House John Boehner came to support 19th District Republican Congressional Nominee, Trey Radel, along with Naples City Mayor John Sorey all backing Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in this coming U.S. presidential election. Dozens came out to support the political figures.

Video from NBC-2

— As the battle for the presidency heats up, the top Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives says the Nov. 6 vote is the most important election of a lifetime.

“You’ve heard politicians over the course of your lifetime talk about an upcoming election being the most important election of their lifetime, but guess what — they were wrong,” Speaker of the House John Boehner said Tuesday in Naples. “The most important election of our lifetime is going to be this November.”

Boehner was in Naples to stump for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and District 19 GOP congressional candidate Trey Radel. The event, held at Republican headquarters in Naples, is one of several Boehner will do this month as part of a national tour to rally support for congressional candidates and the Romney campaign.

About 75 people braved the rain, hiding under umbrellas and holding Romney yard signs over their head, to hear Boehner speak about the economy and the need to take over not just the White House, but also the U.S. Senate, which the Democrats control.

“The Romney-Ryan ground game has 35 days to go and we can send Barack Obama packing his bags,” Boehner said.

Boehner said elections are “won and lost on who shows up to vote,” and that Republicans in Naples are going above and beyond when it comes to reaching out to potential voters through phone banks and voter outreach efforts.

Those efforts were going on Tuesday morning as Boehner spoke. Inside Republican headquarters, volunteers called registered voters in hopes of drumming up support for the Republican ticket.

Naples Mayor John Sorey said volunteers have made thousands of phone calls to registered voters in the area, primarily focusing on registered Republicans and independents. The goal, Sorey said, is to make sure all of Collier County’s Republicans get out to vote.

Naples resident Bob Young is one of those Collier County voters Republicans are counting on. The Navy veteran said he wanted to attend Tuesday’s event to show support for Boehner, as well as the Republican cause.

“I think it’s great,” Young said about Boehner’s visit.

While Young said Congress “has to do better,” he doesn’t blame Boehner for any gridlock in recent years. Instead, Young said changes need to be made in the Senate to allow for better cooperation.

Young said he hoped Boehner would speak about balancing the budget and reducing the deficit. Instead, the Ohio congressman used his brief speech to talk about Romney and why he was the best man for the job.

Boehner said the president has had four years to turn things around, but that hasn’t worked and it’s now time to get someone with more business experience in the White House.

“The president has had four years to try his policies. He’s played all of his cards and, guess what, the economy still stinks,” he said. “Mitt Romney understands what it takes to create jobs because he’s created hundreds of thousands of them. Mitt Romney understands what government, big government, interference will do to job creators and how it will kill jobs in America.”

Boehner went on to say the sole issue of the 2012 election cycle is the economy, and how to get it back on track.

“The president just doesn’t get it. He’s never had a real job, he’s never done anything, and the only things he knows about creating jobs is what he read in a book,” Boehner said.

Wednesday night’s presidential debate will give Romney a chance to “lay out a clear economic plan to get our economy back on track,” Boehner said.

While Boehner primarily acted as a cheerleader for the Romney campaign, he also spent some time Tuesday rallying support for Radel.

Boehner said he’s thrilled Radel is “coming to the United States Congress” and was scheduled to attend a private fundraiser for the Fort Myers Republican on Tuesday night.

William DeShazer/Staff
Trey Radel, Republican Nominee in Congress for District 19, addresses attendees during an old fashion Republican rally at Cambier Park on Sunday Sept. 30, 2012.

Photo by WILLIAM DESHAZER // Buy this photo

William DeShazer/Staff Trey Radel, Republican Nominee in Congress for District 19, addresses attendees during an old fashion Republican rally at Cambier Park on Sunday Sept. 30, 2012.

Radel brushed off Boehner’s comments about him coming to Washington, D.C., and said afterward he still has a campaign to run until November. Radel will face Democrat Jim Roach and Brandon Smith, running without party affiliation, in the November general election.

Still, Radel said Boehner’s support was a huge boost to his campaign.

“It’s critical,” Radel said. “We need to rally the base.”

Boehner said it will be important to keep the base energized until the last vote is cast, especially because the race is so close in Florida and nationwide.

“Now listen, you’ve seen all this polling done. It’s almost comical, because what this is today is a dead heat election,” Boehner said. “It is as close as anything you’ve seen.”

Posted earlier

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner spoke for about 10 minutes to about 75 people this morning. The speaker of the house said this was the most important election.

"This is a dead heat election," Boehner said.

About 75 huddled under umbrellas outside the Collier County Republican Party headquarters in Naples on Tuesday morning, awaiting the arrival of Boehner, who was expected to arrive at 10 am.

The Ohio Republican will rally supports of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan before heading to a private fundraiser for congressional candidate Trey Radel.

Boehner is on a month-long barnstorming tour to rally support for congressional candidates and the Romney campaign.

Organizers said they expected 200 people, but the rain may have kept people away.

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