Ex-House Speaker Boehner compares Trump to Teddy Roosevelt


CINCINNATI (AP) — Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner sees President-elect Donald Trump as a modern-day Teddy Roosevelt, a populist who wants to do “big things.”

The Ohio Republican told WCPO.com in Cincinnati (http://bit.ly/2hhKRqQ ) that Trump is similar to Roosevelt, the 26th president, because he’s “another guy who saw himself larger than life.” He said Trump doesn’t want to just “trim around the edges” as president.

“If you look at what Teddy Roosevelt did, he came in to do big things,” Boehner said. “I think Donald Trump wants to do big things.”

He said Trump understands the need to work in a bipartisan manner. But he added that Trump also can leverage his populist appeal.

“Trump will take his case to the American people,” Boehner said. He said the New York businessman won the GOP nomination and then defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton “because he actually understood what the American people were thinking, and what a majority of them were feeling.

“If I were Trump and I were going to try to do something big, I’d take my case right to the American people, let the American people put pressure on their representatives,” Boehner said.

He said Trump doesn’t bring a traditional ideology to the White House and is “kind of a Republican, and he’s kind of a Democrat.”

Roosevelt belonged to the Republican Party while he was president from 1901 to 1909, then ran again for president unsuccessfully in 1912 as a Progressive.

Boehner called Trump “a good guy” who used to call him when he was having a tough week as speaker to cheer him up. He said they are “texting buddies” who have played a lot of golf together.

Boehner, who resigned in 2015 after nearly 25 years in Congress, said he is still adjusting to private life but enjoys it and has caught up on household chores while dividing time between Ohio and Florida. He said he had no regrets about resigning and often watches the news and is glad he’s “not in the middle.” He said there’s a “political revolution” going on in the United States and elsewhere.

“Anybody that thinks (the) last 12 months were as wild as we’ve seen, just saddle up and watch,” Boehner said. “Because there’s no reason to think the next 12 months are going to be any less crazy.”

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