President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaEx-Saudi official says he was targeted by a hit team after fleeing to Canada Republican spin on Biden is off the mark Yellen expects inflation to return to normal levels next year MORE placed a call to John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerRift widens between business groups and House GOP Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Debt ceiling games endanger US fiscal credibility — again MORE on his penultimate day as Speaker, telling the Ohio Republican he was sorry to see him go.
“He said, ‘BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerRift widens between business groups and House GOP Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Debt ceiling games endanger US fiscal credibility — again MORE, man, I’m gonna miss you,' ” Boehner recalled in an interview broadcast Friday on Fox News.
“Yes you are Mr. President. Yes you are,” Boehner replied.
After nearly five years leading the House as Speaker, the Ohio Republican handed over the reins Thursday to Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJuan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Cheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' Cheney allies flock to her defense against Trump challenge MORE (R-Wis.), who at 45 is two decades younger than Boehner.
While Boehner and Obama were never personally close, the former Speaker told Fox News he had a “good relationship” with the president.
“We had disagreements over all kinds of issues but we have a good relationship,” Boehner said, “because I think it’s essential that the leaders be able to work with each other, have a relationship, have some trust so we can do the nation’s business.”
Boehner has said he wishes he could have fixed the broken immigration system. But the biggest regret of his Speakership was the collapse of the trillion-dollar “grand bargain” deficit reduction deal with Obama — something for which he still blames the president.
“We had an agreement. I’m sitting in the Oval Office, Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorBottom line Virginia GOP candidates for governor gear up for convention Cantor: 'Level of craziness' in Washington has increased 'on both sides' MORE and I, and the president of the United States. The deal was done.” Boehner said.
“I was shocked that the president walked away from the agreement and caused the country to have a real struggle. ... The country went through a lot more than it needed to.”
Boehner planned to fly home to Ohio on Friday. He’s sent separate letters to Ryan and Ohio Gov. John Kasich informing them his resignation from Congress is effective at 11:59 p.m. Saturday.
A day after he hosted Pope Francis at the Capitol, Boehner, a former altar boy from Reading, Ohio, shocked Washington by announcing he was leaving office in the middle of his third term as Speaker.
“I don’t have any doubt that God put me in this job, and I don’t have any doubt that God eased me right out of this job,” he told Fox News. “It was pretty smooth.
“Good job big guy,” Boehner added, looking up.