House Speaker John Boehner says people may be surprised in November, if the race comes down to a contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
In his conversation with students at Stanford University, Boehner admitted that he expected Trump to be out of the race six months ago.
“Don’t be surprised,” he said. “You know being a political celebrity is one thing … but it’s not like being a real celebrity. Trump has spent 14 years on TV a celebrity.”
Boehner’s remarks about Trump being his “texting buddy” and golf partner were previously reported by the Stanford Daily, but the full audio of the entire conversation has been released revealing more details of Boehner’s views on Trump’s run for president.
Being a celebrity, Boehner explained, would help drive people to the polls, making Trump more competitive.
“It attracts a whole different cast of characters,” he said. “Remember, elections aren’t won or lost based on what the polls say, they’re won or lost based on who shows up to vote, and not everybody shows up every four years.”
Boehner cited the 2012 election, pointing out that Mitt Romney got 10,000 fewer votes in his congressional district in Ohio than John McCain did in 2008. Trump, he suggested, could reverse that.
“If it’s Trump and it’s Hillary, I don’t care what the polls say today, its going to be a monumental fight,” he said. “And it’s going to be a most closer election than people think.”
But Boehner noted two difficulties that Trump faced as he went into the election — uniting the Republican party and getting past his controversial remarks about women and minorities.
“I don’t know how how you insult two-thirds of American woman, insult every minority group known to man, and expect to get elected,” he said. “There are just not enough white males to get elected.”
Boehner addressed the inevitability of a Trump nomination, saying that the Republican party would have to unite if they wanted to win.
“He’s got to have to figure out how to unite the party,” Boehner said. “Republicans want to win the White House, so if he’s the nominee, they’re going to have to suck it up.”
The former Speaker of the House also revealed that Trump spoke with him while he was in office, during times of turmoil in the Republican conference.
“He would call me once in a while, pat me on the back, cheer me up,” Boehner revealed to the students. “Thankfully I haven’t heard from him since he decided to run for president.”