NBCNEWS.COM - In an address Tuesday to the Ripon Society, a Republican-leaning group, House Speaker John Boehner charged that it was the Obama administration's goal to "annihilate" the Republican Party and "shove" it "into the dustbin of history."
"And given what we heard yesterday about the president's vision for his second term, it's pretty clear to me that he knows he can't do any of that as long as the House is controlled by Republicans. So we're expecting over the next 22 months to be the focus of this administration as they attempt to annihilate the Republican Party. And let me just tell you, I do believe that is their goal - to just shove us into the dustbin of history. I've been in these spots before. I remember November of '06, January of '07 -- we've been through these periods before. And you know, our members get down, our supporters get down."
The speaker continued:
"But listen, we are Americans and we will figure this out. These next couple of weeks, next couple of months, frankly, the next 20 months, are going to be a very difficult period for us. While we want to stand up and fight for more fiscal responsibility, want to stand up and find a way to move tax reform that will help our economy grow, to do the things we believe in, we're going to be doing it in an environment that is going to be far more hostile than anything that I think we've seen for a long, long time. We're going to have to make some big decisions about how we as a party take on this challenge. Where's the ground that we fight on? Where's the ground that we retreat on? Where are the smart fights? Where are the dumb fights that we have to stay away from?"
Boehner also said that he had to give former college football coach -- and ESPN commentator -- Lou Holtz a pep talk after both Obama's inauguration and his re-election.
"Last night, I got a three-page text from my good friend Lou Holtz, who must have watched the inaugural and then all that blabber on TV…: 'I'm done, finished, the country's over with -- we're not doing this again!' Now, I had already had this conversation with Lou about nine or ten days after the election. He came in to speak to our 34 new Members. And before he went over to talk to them, he came over to my office, and he was moaning and groaning. I said, 'Lou, would you stop it? We're Americans, we'll figure this out!' And I had to spend 15 minutes giving Lou Holtz a pep talk! I had to do it again last night!"