BoehnerJohn Boehner3 ways the next president can succeed on immigration reform Republican Study Committee elders back Harris for chairman Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare MORE said he believes there is no seat that the GOP cannot win during this election cycle, judging by Sen. Scott Brown's (R) improbable win in January's special election in Massachusetts.
Reflecting Republican optimism that they can win back control of the House this fall, Boehner said 2010 has the widest playing field for Republicans in a while.
"Let me remind you that Scott Brown won the Ted Kennedy Senate seat in Massachusetts," Boehner said during an appearance on National Public Radio. "If Scott Brown can win in America, there isn't a seat in America that Republicans can't win."
When pressed for a number, Boehner said he believed the GOP could win as many as 100 seats in this fall's elections.
"At least 100 seats," Boehner said when asked how wide the playing field for districts is. "I do," the top House Republican answered when asked if he thinks there are 100 seats in the U.S. "that could change hands."
Other prognosticators have more modest projections for Republicans. The University of Virginia's Center for Politics predicts the GOP would pick up 27 seats if the election were held today. Republicans need to win 41 seats to take back control of the House.
But Boehner says the playing field is the widest he's ever seen since joining Congress in 1991, which by implication includes the landslide 1994 congressional elections that swept Republicans to control of Congress.
"What we're seeing every day is the playing field widen -- widen beyond anything we've seen here in my 20 years," Boehner said.
Update, 1:36 p.m.: Boehner spokesman Don Seymour reacted Friday afternoon to the GOP leader's interview, saying Boehner was simply describing the expanded political landscape Republicans are enjoying this cycle.
“Leader Boehner was simply pointing out what he has for months – that the playing field has expanded and Republicans are fielding top-tier candidates in the 100 most competitive races, candidates that if elected will help us create new jobs and curb government spending," Seymour said.
Listen to the interview below:
Updated at 12:03 p.m.