By Russell Berman - 10/06/11 08:07 PM EDT
House Speaker John Boehner offered unqualified praise for President Obama’s handling of the war on terrorism on Thursday, a day before a major foreign policy address by GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney.
Boehner was effusive in complimenting Obama, even comparing the Democrat favorably to his Republican predecessor.
“I’ve been very supportive of the president’s decisions in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Boehner said Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum. “I think so far the president’s done just fine.”
“When you look at the prosecution of the war effort against the enemy in the tribal areas, there’s clearly more been done under President Obama than there was under President Bush, in terms of a more aggressive effort focused at them,” he said.
Boehner’s praise could complicate criticism of the president by Romney. At a minimum, the Obama campaign can point to Boehner’s words as part of its response to Romney.
Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, will give his address Friday morning at the Citadel in Charleston, S.C. On Thursday, the front-runner for the GOP nomination announced an array of officials who would advise him on foreign policy and homeland security if he were to win the presidency.
The team relies heavily on Bush administration veterans, including former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff and Michael Hayden, a former CIA director.
Boehner earlier this year sharply criticized Obama's handling of U.S. involvement in Libya, but he has been more supportive of his policy on Iraq and Afghanistan. The Speaker remains a staunch critic of the president's broader leadership, and he accused him Thursday of giving up on governing to campaign for his reelection.