- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 6, 2011

House Speaker John A. Boehner on Thursday praised President Obama’s handling of the war on terrorism, saying he has done a better job in Afghanistan than the previous Bush administration.

But the Ohio Republican accused Mr. Obama of neglecting his White House responsibilities as of late so he can campaign for re-election.

Mr. Boehner, speaking at the Washington Ideas Forum at the Newseum, said he has been “very supportive of the president’s decisions in Iraq, in Afghanistan.”

“By and large the president has continued the effort to take on the Taliban, to take on al Qaeda, and to help America stays secure.”

“When you look at the prosecution of the war effort against the enemy in the tribal areas (of Afghanistan), there’s clearly more been done under President Obama than it was under President Bush, in terms of a more aggressive effort focused at that.”

But Mr. Boehner said the president in recent weeks has “thrown in the towel” and turned his back on his White House duties so he can focus on his re-election efforts.

“Nothing has disappointed me more than what’s happened over the last five weeks, to watch the president of the United States give up on governing, give up on leading and spend full-time campaigning,” the speaker said. “No leadership from the president.”

Still, Mr. Boehner said he will sit down with the president “any day at any time” to discuss how to solve the nation’s challenges.

“Just because we have very different views doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be seeking to find … common ground,” he said.