John Boehner Cries in Nancy Pelosi Tribute During Speaker’s Portrait Unveiling

UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 14: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., greets former Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, during a portrait unveiling ceremony for Pelosi in the U.S. Capitols Statuary Hall on Wednesday, December 14, 2022. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., appears at left. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via …
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) became choked up on Wednesday as he spoke about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) at a ceremony for the unveiling of Pelosi’s speaker’s portrait.

Boehner, who is known for crying, was speaking during the event about his and his family’s appreciation for Pelosi, whom he succeeded in 2011, when Boehner became tearful.

“Madam Speaker, I have to say, my girls told me, ‘Tell the speaker how much we admire her,’” Boehner said as tears filled his eyes and the crowd applauded.

He then added with a laugh, “If you couldn’t tell, my girls are Democrats.”


Pelosi delivered remarks after Boehner, saying, “How about John Boehner? Wasn’t that something? I’m telling you, I would have been a little disappointed if he did not get emotional.”

The portrait of Pelosi, the first woman to become speaker of the House, will be hung in a lobby of portraits of speakers in the U.S. Capitol, and Boehner noted the late artist Ronald Sherr painted both his and Pelosi’s.

Boehner also spoke during his remarks about how he and Pelosi “disagreed politically” but “were never disagreeable.”

Boehner said, “You were so gracious to me, in fact, that at times, it got me in trouble with my own members.”

Boehner was ousted from his speaker post in October 2015 after roughly two dozen Republican members, led by then-Rep. Mark Meadows, indicated they would vote against Boehner in a “vacate the chair” resolution, which led to Boehner resigning.

The Ohio Republican said at the time, “My first job as speaker is to protect the institution. It had become clear to me that this prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable harm to the institution.”

Others present at the portrait unveiling included Pelosi’s replacement, incoming House Democrat Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), as well as House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), House GOP Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), and House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

Write to Ashley Oliver at Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.


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