President Obama Surprised by Boehner Resignation: 'He's a Good Man'

President Obama commented on House Speaker John Boehner's decision to resign.

— -- President Obama remarked today on the announcement of House Speaker John Boehner's decision to resign, saying, "John Boehner is a good man."

"It took me by surprise," Obama said, saying upon learning the news he called Boehner directly. "We have obviously had a lot of disagreements and politically we are at different ends of the spectrum, but he has always conducted himself with the courtesy and civility with me."

Obama made his remarks during a news conference in the Rose Garden alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is in town for a state visit.

"The one thing I will say is that my hope is there’s a recognition on the part of the next speaker," Obama said. "We can have significant differences on issues, but that doesn’t mean you shut down the government, that doesn’t mean you risk the full faith and credit of the United States."

When asked whether Boehner's exit symbolized any larger issues within the Republican party, Obama said he didn't expect there would be a big shift when Boehner turns the gavel over at the end of next month.

"I do think that Speaker Boehner sometimes had a tough position because there were members in his caucus who saw compromise of any sort as weakness or betrayal," Obama said. "When you have divided government, when you have a democracy, compromise is necessary."