Politics

Boehner: ‘Thank God I’m Not in the Middle of This’

Former speaker compares president-elect to Teddy Roosevelt

Asked if he missed being involved more closely in this year’s election cycle, former House Speaker John A. Boehner replied, “Oh my God, no.” (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former House Speaker John A. Boehner weighed in on the incoming Trump administration Wednesday, calling the president-elect a “good guy” who wants to do “big things,” and advocating for bipartisanship in the new Congress.

Boehner told Cincinnati ABC affiliate WCPO that he and Trump have known each other for a long time. 

“We’ve played a lot of golf together over the years,” Boehner said. “When I was speaker, if I was having a tough week, I’d always get a call from Donald. He’d pat me on the back, cheer me up.”

When asked if he misses being in the thick of things, a relaxed-looking Boehner didn’t hesitate.

“Oh my God, no.” Boehner said, incredulously. “Really?”

“Every day I'd watch it was like, ‘Oh, thank God I'm not in the middle of this,” he said. 

The Ohio Republican resigned his House seat last October after serving almost 25 years, and was replaced by fellow Midwesterner Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin.

On the topic of Trump, the former speaker gave the reality star credit for tapping into the American consciousness.

“He actually understood what the American people were thinking, and what a majority of them were feeling,” Boehner said.

“I think Donald Trump sees himself larger than life,” Boehner continued, “If you look back through history, he kind of reminds me of Teddy Roosevelt, another guy who saw himself larger than life.”

Famous for his boundless energy, Roosevelt served two consecutive presidential terms as a Republican in the early 1900s before switching to a Progressive Party platform and losing to Woodrow Wilson in 1912.

Boehner seems to be enjoying the freedom that comes with leaving politics, especially when it came to discussing some of his former colleagues.

Most notably, Boehner stood by his comments likening Sen. Ted Cruz to Lucifer, and said he still thinks the Texas senator is “the most miserable person I ever had to work with.”

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