Conservatives lashed out at former House Speaker John Boehner after a clip of Boehner crying during the unveiling of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's official portrait went viral.
Boehner gave a speech praising Pelosi during her official portrait unveiling ceremony on Wednesday, December 14. Pelosi had earlier announced that she will retire from Democratic Party leadership after her role as Speaker concludes this year.
The tearful Boehner—who was Speaker of the House from 2011 to 2015—called Pelosi "unfailingly gracious" and expressed how much his own daughters admire her.
You can hear what he said in the video below.
Addressing Pelosi, Boehner said:
"You’ve been unfailingly gracious to me, to my family and, frankly, my team here in Washington."
"And Madam Speaker, I have to say, my girls told me, ‘Tell the Speaker how much we admire her.'"
Boehner choked up at that point, though the display angered conservatives who perceived it as a sign of weakness from oft-abhorred establishment Republicans.
Others were much kinder and praised the moment as an example of civility in Washington.
Boehner praised Pelosi's remarkable political career, saying there hasn't been a single Speaker on either side of the aisle who "has wielded the gavel with such authority or with such consistent results.”
He was just one of many who paid tribute to Pelosi during the ceremony. Former Democratic President Barack Obama honored Pelosi in a brief video appearance. Others, like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy—whose own bid for the Speaker position is currently imperiled—sat in silence during the event.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he has been impressed by Pelosi for many years, saying it was apparent from the moment she arrived in Congress that she "knew the issues, she knew the politics, and most importantly, she knew what she was fighting for.”