- The Washington Times - Friday, September 25, 2015

President Obama on Friday called retiring House Speaker John A. Boehner a “good man” and a “patriot” and said he hopes Mr. Boehner’s successor will work closely with the White House and congressional Democrats to avoid government shutdowns and other crises.

At a press conference alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping, Mr. Obama said he respects Mr. Boehner and appreciated the “courtesy and civility” with which he conducted himself, despite the deep political disagreements between the two men.

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,” the president said, adding that he called Mr. Boehner just before the press conference began.

“We have obviously had a lot of disagreements and, politically, we’re at different ends of the spectrum,” Mr. Obama continued. “But I will tell you 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 you disagree with, sometimes strongly, to do the people’s business.”

The president said that as soon as the House GOP chooses a new speaker, he’ll reach out immediately.

“My hope is there is a recognition on the part of the next speaker — something I think John understood, even though at times it was challenging to bring his caucus along — that we can have significant differences on issues but that doesn’t mean you shut down the government, that doesn’t mean you risk the full faith and credit of the United States, you don’t invite potential financial crises,” Mr. Obama said.

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