Asked whether a close association between Republicans and the Tea Party limits the GOP's appeal to moderate, left-leaning voters, Boehner stood up for the Tea Party.
"There are some disaffected Republicans there, there are always some Democrats there, always some anarchists who want to kill all of us in public office, but I'll tell you this: 75 percent of these people who show up at these events are the most average everyday Americans you've ever met," Boehner said. "They represent the same values, concerns, frustration, anger and fear that you see from tens of millions of other Americans…they should not be dismissed, they shouldn't be mocked, as I've said earlier this year, we should listen to them, we should work with them, and we should walk amongst them."
Asked what traits would make him an effective Speaker of the House, Boehner cited his experience as a consensus builder in Congress – working to reach across the aisle during his career with liberal Democrats like Sen. Ted Kennedy and Rep. George Miller to pass bipartisan legislation.
"Big things don't happen in Washington on partisan votes," Boehner said. "We're not going to be able to solve the big problems in our country until members begin to work with each other again, and trust each other once again. And it isn't going to happen overnight."