Boehner tells GOP it 'needs to be prepared' for fight to retain House

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) preempted reaction from his GOP colleagues on Wednesday, telling them directly that there is a "one in three chance" that Democrats could win control of the House in November.

Democratic political entities were quick to seize on the Speaker's prediction, which aired on Fox News Tuesday, including it in fundraising outreach efforts.

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Instead of waiting for his restless conference to broach the issue at the weekly closed-door conference, Boehner said "I brought it up" during the conference's first meeting since the top-ranking Republican handicapped his party's odds of retaining control of the House.

"Listen, I'm always going to be myself. And while the fact is that things look pretty good today, you don't know what's going to happen over the next six months. I want our members and our supporters around the country to understand the facts: you got 89 freshman members running for their first reelection, you got over 40 members running in districts won by Barack Obama, we've got a fight on our hands, and our members and team needs to be prepared," Boehner told reporters following the meeting.

The Speaker addressed the hot-button scandal of the week involving the Secret Service's hiring of prostitutes while on assignment in Colombia.

Calling the scandal "a real black mark on the Secret Service and frankly on our country," Boehner refrained from weighing on in the issue of whether the agency made the right decision in not firing three of the individuals involved in the prostitution incident.

"There are a number of investigations under way which are appropriate — when all the facts are available, then we can make some decisions about whether improvements need to be made and whether everyone was held accountable," Boehner said.

Asked if he agreed with Senate Judiciary ranking member Chuck Grassley's (R-Iowa) call for an additional investigation into the scandal, Boehner said he doesn't "want to jump out there to make noise to be making noise. Let's get to the bottom of this, hold those accountable who committed wrongdoing and find out what needs to be done to put policies in place to prevent something like this from happening again."