House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday that he thought his House colleague, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), "did a really good job" at last night's presidential debate.
Boehner, the top elected Republican in Washington, said he saw parts of last night's Republican presidential debate, where Bachmann caught some observers off guard by officially declaring her candidacy for president.
"I think she did a really good job last night," Boehner said of Bachmann's performance. "I think she's a bright member of our caucus, and it's one of the reasons I appointed her to the Intelligence Committee."
The Minnesota congresswoman, who enjoys close ties to the Tea Party movement, was noted by some pundits for a standout performance in a debate that was otherwise lacking in fireworks.
Boehner had told CBS at the time of the first Republican debate in May that he didn't watch the contest; that forum lacked many of last night's top-tier participants. But the Speaker acknowledged watching last night.
He said that Bachmann, with whom Boehner and the GOP leadership have sometimes clashed behind the scenes, has a decent shot of winning the nomination, though he didn't single her out by name.
"I think that my colleagues in the House that are in this race, I think they've got as good of a shot as anybody else," Boehner said. (Bachmann is the only House member in the race.) "We saw a bright field of candidates, and it's going to be a long process."