Senator Bill Nelson summed it up best in regard to why House Speaker John Boehner unexpectedly and abruptly quit congress on Friday. “After Speaker Boehner fulfilled his dream of the pope speaking, he is just plain tired of dealing with the right-wing extremists,” Nelson said.
Even Boehner made similar type statements of the past few days:
Just yesterday we witnessed the awesome sight of Pope Francis addressing the greatest legislative body in the world. And I hope we will all heed his call to live by the golden rule. But last night, I started to think about this. And this morning, I woke up and I said my prayers, as I always do, and I decided, you know, today’s the day I’m going to do this. [I’m going to quit politics].
I think it [the Pope’s visit] helped clear the picture. I never related one of those instances with the other, but clearly by Friday night it was pretty obvious to me.
The Bible says beware of false prophets. And there are people out there [in the GOP] spreading noise about how much can get done.
President Obama also weighed in on the issue:
[P]erhaps the visit by the Holy Father to Congress may have changed hearts and minds. I know that Speaker Boehner was deeply moved by his encounter with Pope Francis. I want to congratulate him, by the way, on facilitating that historic visit. I know it meant a lot to John and his family.