Transcript: Rep. John Boehner Speaks to Diane Sawyer


DIANE SAWYER: We saw the emotion in the last few days.

JOHN BOEHNER: Oh, you -- everybody knows I can get emotional from time to time.

DIANE SAWYER: Have you seen this? Is that a trajectory? (LAUGH)

JOHN BOEHNER:I did just see this. A fella taking a thousand photos of me. I didn't know who he was. And finally I just gave him that frown. Of course, that's the one they're gonna use. And I told him. I said, "This is the one you're gonna use." I told him.

DIANE SAWYER: Are there lessons from your parents? You were telling me that -- you've never had any debt. Any debt of any kind in your life.

JOHN BOEHNER: No. Germans. You know, we -- we're savers, we're not spenders. And -- well, I wouldn't describe myself as a penny pincher. In -- I don't mind spending money --

DIANE SAWYER: No mortgage? No --

JOHN BOEHNER: Ah, no, no. I -- I -- 15 years, paid it off, and that was the end of that. No, I -- I just -- debt is not something that -- has ever made me comfortable. And this national debt makes me very uncomfortable.

DIANE SAWYER: What's the main thing you want to say to them? Those grandparents and those parents?

JOHN BOEHNER: Just -- thanks for, you know, all the -- the values that they taught me. And they -- you know, we're simple people. We worked hard. Work hard. And -- and make your way in life. I -- I tell my colleagues the same things my parents told me that I told my kids. "You do the right thing every day -- for the right reasons, the right things will happen. You don't have to worry about it."

DIANE SAWYER: I know there's someone else that probably people that -- across the country don't know, but you have dedicated in some ways this victory to her. Paula Nowakowski, your chief of staff.

JOHN BOEHNER: My long time -- chief of staff. Passed away suddenly back in January. And so, we dedicated -- this year to her. She was -- believed strongly in her Catholic faith. Everything Polish. And everything about the Detroit Red Wings. And -- she was just a very strong woman, who ran my operation for a long time. And -- dedicated the year to her.

DIANE SAWYER: What is the role Catholicism plays in your life?

JOHN BOEHNER: Well, it's given me a real foundation of faith. And -- while I don't wear it on my shirt sleeve -- I have -- deep abiding faith in our Lord.

DIANE SAWYER: Do you think back ever to President Obama over and over again invoking your name on the campaign trail these last few days?


DIANE SAWYER: Heading into it?


DIANE SAWYER: Saying, "No new ideas." Your name was out there over and over.

JOHN BOEHNER: I know. Listen, it's politics. You know, when you get into the election season, there are a lot of things that get -- a lot of hyperbolists running around. It's just comes with it. I just let it run off my back like a duck.

DIANE SAWYER: Somebody did say this morning they -- they wrote -- I think it was Russell Berman in The Hill. He did say that you do have a common bond [with President Obama], which is a fondness for golf, struggle with smoking, and yet, there's no sense that you've really connected over the years as human beings.

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