U.S. House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, may not have been seen during last weekend's visit to Missouri, but both parties hope he'll be heard.
Boehner headlined private fundraising events:
- in St. Louis for 3rd District GOP hopeful Ed Martin, who's seeking to oust Democratic incumbent Russ Carnahan;
- across the state for 4th District Republican nominee Vicky Hartzler, who is challenging the dean of Missouri's Democratic congressional delegation, Ike Skelton of Lexington, Mo.
Although the press and non-paying public didn't get a glimpse of the man dubbed the U.S. House's "speaker-in-waiting," Martin posted numerous photos of the event and Boehner on his Facebook page.
Martin's campaign also has highlighted Boehner's promise that A) if the GOP takes control of the House and B) if Martin defeats Carnahan, then C) new-speaker Boehner will name Martin to the House Veterans Affairs Committee.
That pledge appears to be partially in response to the heavy emphasis by Carnahan on veterans in recent weeks, by holding a series of veterans forums and participating in a House probe of mishandled dental equipment at the VA's Cochran Medical Center.
Carnahan's camp is intently focusing on the Boehner visit as well. "After this high-dollar fundraiser, there's no doubt that Ed Martin will be a rubberstamp for Republican leader John Boehner's national agenda to dismantle the Social Security and Medicare system so many Missouri seniors depend on every day," said Angela Guyadeen, Carnahan's communications director.
The Carnahan camp is referring to earlier comments by Boehner in favor of privatizing Social Security. And last fall, Boehner led an unsuccessful GOP drive to transform Medicare into a voucher program, where elderly would buy their own private insurance.
(The "rubberstamp" jab has a double meaning, since the GOP has repeatedly labeled Carnahan's sister, Missouri U.S. Senate nominee Robin Carnahan, now secretary of state, as "Rubberstamp Robin.")
The Carnahan campaign also highlighted Boehner's votes against now-passed measures that imposed more restrictions on financial institutions and provided funding for Cochran and the VA's National Cemetery at Jefferson Barracks.
The Carnahan campaign also brought up another issue that a lot of Democrats (including Robin Carnahan) have been bringing up in recent days: outsourcing.
Various of Boehner's votes were cited that Carnahan's campaign said demonstrated that he "has actively worked to enact broken trade deals that ship tens of thousands of Missouri jobs overseas."
In particular, Carnahan took note of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) approved by Congress in the 1990s with the support of then-President Bill Clinton, a Democrat.
This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon.