TAMPA — House Speaker John Boehner, touting GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s convention debut, told members of the Georgia delegation late this morning that Ryan’s upcoming debate with Vice President Joe Biden will be “the greatest show on the planet.”
We know this because, after five days, members of the press were allowed into a delegation meeting. All previous sessions had been ordered closed by state GOP Chairman Sue Everhart.
But intervention by state House Speaker David Ralston – Boehner was his guest at the event, and Ralston saw no reason to hide the fact – resulted in a handful of reporters being allowed entry. For the 13 minutes of Boehner’s remarks only.
Boehner opened his remarks with a nod toward Doug Collins, who won the GOP nomination for the new 9th District congressional seat, and Lee Anderson, the presumed GOP victor in the race to face down U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta.
Boehner also spoke about Mitt Romney, who accepts the Republican nomination for president this evening. But the Georgia crowd really didn’t stir until Boehner touched on Romney’s decision to name Paul Ryan as his running mate – who began his political career volunteering for one of Boehner’s Ohio campaigns.
The U.S. House speaker claimed that, after declaring themselves highly pleased with the choice of Ryan because of his controversial proposals on Medicare, Democrats have gone silent. “Why? Because they were getting their butt kicked,” Boehner said.
Boehner had nothing but praise for Ryan’s speech on Wednesday night, and pointed to Oct. 11, when the vice presidential candidates will debate on the campus of Centre College in Danville, Ky.
“There’s not one of my Republican guys that won’t be glued to the TV the night that Joe Biden and Paul Ryan debate,” Boehner said. “I don’t care where we are, I don’t care what we’re doing. I guarantee you 242 of us are going to be watching because it’s going to be the greatest show on the planet.”
Paid reporters were then swept out, but Kennesaw State University student Sara Lynn Colley was able to elude enforcers, and reported here that the final speaker of the session was Gov. Mike Leavitt of Utah, who worked with Romney during the Utah Winter Olympics.
A forbidden tidbit from her report:
“We have been called to skate the performance of our lives,” he said. “History compels it and history needs it.”
Now you understand why Leavitt’s address had to be kept secret.
U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, R-Tifton, was ready to leave the Tampa Bay Grand Hyatt, where the Georgia delegation is staying, when he learned that Boehner would be making an appearance.
The hills of Kentucky were calling, and he wanted to take his son deer hunting. But duty demanded he pay his respects to his leader.
During his speech, the U.S. House speaker declared, “You always tease the one you love.”
Shortly afterwards, he noticed Scott in the audience. “Morning, sweetheart,” he said to Scott.
“He’s called me worse,” Scott said, wincing at the knowledge that a nickname may have just been born. He should have gone hunting.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider