Boehner on Tea Party candidates crashing the GOP: ‘You have to learn to deal with every character that walks in the door’

Chris Moody Contributor

While Republicans scramble to figure out how to react to the possible influx of Tea Party-backed candidates come January, House Minority Leader John Boehner said Thursday he would have little trouble dealing with the new additions to the Party.

Citing his upbringing in which he worked at his family’s tavern with 11 siblings, Boehner said that he has all the training he needs to corral a diverse body of lawmakers.

“When you grow up in a big family you have to learn to get along with each other,” he said. “I tended bar; you have to learn to deal with every character that walks in the door. Trust me, all the skills I learned growing up are the skills I need to do my job.”

If recent election polling is any indicator, the Republican “family” could add quite a few new “characters” to the mix in the coming months. While it is not clear that Tea Party-backed candidates will have nearly as much of an impact on the House as the Senate, the potential addition of hard line conservatives has raised concern among established members of the Party.

“It’s official: There is now a civil war within the Republican Party,” Republican presidential campaign adviser Mark McKinnon told USA TODAY after Tea Party-backed Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell won the Party’s Delaware primary. “The good news for Republicans is the Tea Party is capturing the anti-establishment energy in America. The bad news is that includes the Republican establishment.”

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