Sen. Marco Rubio received boisterous applause and a standing ovation Friday when he informed a crowd at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., that Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, will resign later this year.
“It’s not about him or anyone else, and I’m not here to bash anyone, but it is time to turn the page,” the Republican presidential candidate from Florida said.
Rubio’s reference to Boehner came at a point in his prepared remarks where he sought to criticize Republican leaders that many activists here see as out of touch with them.
“How can it be that we’ve sent a Republican majority to Congress, yet they still aren’t able to stop our country from sliding in the wrong direction?” he said. “The answer is that too many leaders in both parties have fallen out of touch with America.”
Rubio was one of a number of Republican presidential candidates – including Sen. Ted Cruz, R- Texas, one of the most vocal critics of the party’s leaders – set to address the annual meeting of Christian conservatives hosted by the Family Research Council.
After hearing of the plan by Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio to step down Cruz declined to say if the top Republican in the Senate should stick around, either.
"That's a question for Leader McConnell and for the Republican Conference," Cruz said when asked if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky should follow Cruz into retirement.
"I have consistently tried to focus my efforts on urging leadership to do the right thing, whether it is current leaders or different leaders, " Cruz told reporters. "I've privately urged them, 'folks, stand up and lead. I will sing your praises.' I would be thrilled to appear at a press conference and talk about the brave, courageous, principled John Boehner and McConnell, if they would simply act in a way that I could say that truthfully."