President Barack Obama praised Speaker John A. Boehner as a patriot Friday and said he hoped his successor realizes they shouldn't shut down the government or risk a financial crisis.
"I just heard the news as I was coming out of the meeting here, so it took me by surprise and I took the time prior to this press conference to call John directly and talk to him," Obama said of Boehner's resignation announcement. "John Boehner is a good man. He is a patriot, he cares deeply about the House, an institution in which he's served for a long time. He cares about his constituents and he cares about America. "We have obviously had a lot of disagreements and politically we're at different ends of the spectrum, but I will tell you that he has always conducted himself with courtesy and civility with me. He has kept his word when he made a commitment. He is somebody who has been gracious and I think, maybe most importantly, he's somebody who understands that in government — in governance, you don't get 100 percent of what you want, but you have to work with people who you disagree with, sometimes strongly, in order to do the people's business."