Some of the reporters in the room met Boehner’s remarks with laughter.
The same day Boehner made these remarks, legendary conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly had published an op-ed in the Washington Times—that was linked on The Drudge Report—and that was headlined: “Republican Platform best yet.”
Every four years, grassroots activists from around the country who have won seats as delegates at the Republican National Convention develop the party’s national platform. Each state delegation assigns two of its members, one male and one female, to a special committee that works on the platform and then presents it to the full convention for approval. Some activists work for months just to win the right to attend the convention so they have a chance at influencing a platform that officially defines the principles and policy positions for which the party stands.
At Monday's Christian Science Monitor breakfast, John Gizzi of Human Events asked Boehner what he thought of the platform the committee had produced this year.
“The Republican platform is circulating about in different copies, online, in print,” said Gizzi. “Based on the reports you’ve seen, is this a good document to run on fully, and in particular, the parts about auditing the federal reserve, number one, and the review of government agencies as to their efficiency without calling for shutting them down. Are those things you feel that Republican House members can run on comfortably?”
Boehner did not answer Gizzi’s question, but responded by first assuring the reporters present that he had not read the platform.
“Well, I have not seen the platform,” said Boehner.
“But from every indication that I’ve heard I don’t see any major changes in this platform from what we have had in the past,” Boehner continued. “And if it were up to me I would have the platform on one sheet of paper. Have you ever met anybody who read the party platform? I’ve not met ever anybody.
“It ought to be on one sheet of paper,” said Boehner. “And, guess what? I was on this kick about, oh, I don’t know, at least 8 or 12 years ago, that we ought to have a one-page party platform. That way Americans could actually read it. Might be willing to read it. Might.”
In her column stating that the GOP platform “may be the best one ever adopted,” Eagle Forum President Phyllis Schlafly notes that the new platform reiterated the Republican Party’s longstanding commitment to the belief that “the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed,” takes a tough stand on illegal immigration, and backs “American military superiority.”
But Schlafly also pointed out that the platform addresses new issues such as President Obama’s actions that many Catholics and Christian conservatives consider attacks on religious freedom.
“The platform,” she writes, “speaks loud and clear against the Obama administration’s ‘war on religion,’ which is trying ‘to compel faith-related institutions, as well as believing individuals, to contravene their deeply held religious, moral or ethical beliefs regarding health services, traditional marriage or abortion.”
Despite Boehner's call for “a one-page party platform,” the 48-page “A Pledge to America” that he and other House Republican leaders released before the 2010 election, included an introduction that all by itself was two pages long.
Among other things, it said: “An arrogant and out-of-touch government of self-appointed elites makes decisions, issues mandates, and enacts laws without accepting or requesting the input of the many.'