The Caxambas Republican Club’s first event for 2019 was a “sold-out” affair at the Marco Island Yacht Club. Over 150 members and their guests came to listen to the former 23rd Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner.
Marco resident Ed Adams, an Ohio native and longtime friend of John Boehner, introduced John as “A genuine American who always stayed in touch with his constituencies.”
Since Boehner left office three years ago, he has stayed busy with speaking engagements, has joined several advisory boards, and is writing a book. His book will include the lessons learned along the way, generously sprinkled with “Boehnerisms,” collected by his staff over the years, such as, “It does not cost anything to be nice” and “A leader without followers is simply a man taking a walk.”
John Boehner joined the board of a cannabis advocacy group, something he never dreamed he would do in a million years. During his travels, he has met many folks taking medical cannabis for PTSD and chronic pain with favorable results. He would like to see further research done on cannabis to discover its full potential as a medical drug.
John Boehner discussed other current issues, including Donald Trump’s presidency. He says that he has been a friend of Trump’s for a long time and was also a donor to his campaign. Boehner spoke about Trump’s style, which differs from his own. Unlike Trump, Boehner believes that you can attract more bees with honey. But Boehner reminded the crowd of the men’s different backgrounds; he grew up in the Midwest while Trump grew up in the boroughs of New York City. Boehner praised Trump on the tax bill and deregulations, which he believes have improved the economy.
Some of the other important current issues Boehner discussed:
Chinese Trade: In 1995 when Boehner visited China with Newt Gingrich, then Speaker of the House, the number one issue on the agenda was protection of intellectual property. He believes that it is still the number one issue today, and that nothing has changed. He expressed support for the president sitting down with the Chinese and setting out a timeframe to move forward with a trade agreement.
Government Shutdown: As Speaker of the House, Boehner experienced a government shutdown when Barack Obama was president. In regards to the recent shutdown under President Trump, Boehner sharply criticized the “Knuckleheads” in Congress and the “Goofballs from the Far Right” that are listening to talk show radio for their legislative strategies.
Immigration: Boehner says that governing in America is not a one-way street. You need to work with people. He says that congress is a committee of 530 people that never agree on anything.
Border Security: John Boehner stated that you can’t be a sovereign nation without secure borders, and that all Americans wants secure borders. He believes that to the rest of the world, America is a Utopia. He stated that we are all sons and daughters of immigrants, and that people around the world, who have nothing, will risk everything to get here. He reminded the crowd that we are also all God’s children.