John Boehner Makes Surprise Presidential Endorsement

John Boehner, former Speaker of the House, has publicly endorsed Governor John Kasich and also revealed he cast an early ballot for the governor in the Ohio Republican presidential primary. Boehner cited his longtime friendship with Kasich as the reason he voted for him. The two have been friends for over 30 years and served together as members of the U.S. House in the 1990s.

During a speech to the Republican Party of Butler County in his hometown of West Chester, with 500 people in attendance, there were two words Boehner didn’t say: Donald Trump. The former Speaker had no interest in discussing Trump or controversial political topics. He also didn’t talk about the race to replace him in the 8th Congressional District and made his feelings clear about not getting into those topics.

“I’m not really interested in getting in the middle of all this,” Boehner said.

Boehner’s speech took place at the annual Lincoln Day Dinner, which was held on Saturday evening. Organizers said they usually sell about 300 tickets but sold 500 this year. The event was held at West Chester’s Holiday Inn.

The Dayton Daily News reported that Boehner had been publicly neutral about the candidates up until now. At the beginning of the presidential race, before resigning from Congress last fall, he had encouraged Jeb Bush to enter. Bush ended up dropping out of the race last month.

Last year John Boehner resigned from Congress under pressure and has kept a low profile since then. Perhaps he wishes to continue keeping a low profile, which could be why he refrained from speaking about Donald Trump or the possible fracturing of the Republican Party. Saturday was his first public appearance since his resignation last October.

The same day he spoke to the Republican Party of Butler County, he tweeted a photo of himself mowing his lawn.

With Boehner’s endorsement, Kasich might have a better chance of clinching the Republican nomination. So far in the primaries Kasich has had success in winning over liberal-leaning states, but according to AOL, his popularity with liberals, this could be hurting his presidential campaign in the long run with the Republicans.

Kasich is a two-term governor who enjoys high approval ratings in Ohio, which is where the focus will be this Tuesday when the voters in that state head to the polls.

Now that Boehner has endorsed Kasich, this may change the course of Kasich’s campaign, including gaining the attention of conservative voters. Boehner is known for being conservative, and before he was Speaker of the House, he received 100 percent conservative ratings from several political organizations.

USA Today reports that Boehner’s endorsement of Kasich came one day before Trump was scheduled to speak in West Chester.

In addition to Boehner’s endorsement, reports are surfacing that Mitt Romney will campaign with Kasich in Ohio on Monday, the day before voters head to the polls to vote in the primary.

Besides announcing his endorsement, John Boehner briefly mentioned his resignation from last year.

Boehner said, “I don’t have any regrets about when I retired. I have no regrets about how I retired. Everyday I’m grateful I’m not there.”

What do you think of John Boehner’s endorsement of John Kasich? Will this help Kasich gain the Republican nomination?

[Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images]