GOP Candidate Won’t Commit to Backing Boehner for Speaker
TOLEDO, Ohio — Republican Rich Iott, the controversial Congressional candidate who has drawn fire for donning a German Waffen SS uniform, refused on Saturday to say whether he would support Minority Leader John Boehner for Speaker should the GOP win control of the House on Tuesday.
Iott’s comments were made moments after Boehner spoke to a group of Republican volunteers at the Lucas County Republican Party headquarters in downtown Toledo.
“I don’t know, we’ll have to wait and see,” Iott told Roll Call when asked if Boehner would have his support for the top House job if Republicans successfully win the majority in the House.
Iott, a tea party favorite, did not say who he would support instead of Boehner.
Boehner has received heavy criticism for his continued support for Iott after the photos of the Republican candidate in the SS uniform surfaced on the Atlantic.
Iott, who hopes to unseat Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur on Tuesday, has said he wore the uniform as part of a World War II re-enactment.
About two dozen protesters across the street from the headquarters heckled Iott as he hustled, surrounded by reporters, to his car down the street.
Asked about the controversy surrounding his re-enactment photos and the presence of the protesters, Iott said, “People are allowed to get out and say whatever they want and that’s great.”
“We need to go back to focusing on what are the issues in this election, what are we going to do about the economy and to create jobs,” he said. “Those are the things we need to start focusing on.”
Whether Boehner saw the small group of unhappy voters is unclear, as he ducked out of the building’s back door into a waiting black Surburban.
Boehner isn’t likely to have Iott’s vote either way, since Kaptur appears to be safe on Tuesday. CQ Politics rates this 9th district race Safe Democratic.