Republican House Speaker John Boehner’s announcement that he will be resigning come Oct. 30 is sending shockwaves throughout the political landscape. Presidential candidates and Republican leaders are giving their take on Boehner’s departure; some hail it as a victory while others pay their respects.
“Just a few minutes ago, Speaker Boehner announced that he will be resigning,” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican presidential candidate, told audience members of the Values Voters Summit on Sept. 25
The crowd erupted into an ecstatic applause, making it clear that they herald Boehner’s departure as a victory of the conservative agenda.
“With all due respect to people who serve in government — it is important at this moment, with respect to him and the service he has provided to our country — it’s not about him, and I’m not here today to bash anyone, but the time has come to turn the page," Rubio added.
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Since he became House Speaker in 2011, Boehner has clashed with the far-right of his party, time and time again haggling over government shutdowns and refusing to lift the debt ceiling. His opposition to Tea Party conservatives in the House has made him a source of ridicule amongst the most right-leaning of his party.
“You want to know how much each of you terrify Washington?” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Republican presidential candidate, later told the same audience. “Yesterday, John Boehner was Speaker of the house. Y’all come to town and somehow that changes. My only request is: Can you come more often?”
Some are showing support for Boehner, however. Presidential candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush tweeted out: “John Boehner dedicated his life to public service. Bringing the Holy Father to Congress was a fitting cap to a great career.”
Boehner had told reporters after Pope Francis’ address to Congress on Sept. 24 that his lifelong dream had been fulfilled and that he accomplished all that he wanted in office.
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“I like John Boehner and I am sorry it is happening,” Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona said. “I hope the lesson to all of us is now, that let’s stop fighting with each other.”