‘Ha, ha, ha,’ says Boehner to retirement rumor

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House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) departs a news conference Thursday on Capitol Hill. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) departs a news conference Thursday on Capitol Hill. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) shot down retirement rumors in a brief interview Wednesday with The Washington Post. "Absolutely not true," Boehner said, when asked whether his recent condo purchase in Florida signals his looming departure from Congress.

Before answering, Boehner, who was first elected in 1990, chuckled about the retirement question, which has buzzing around Capitol Hill for months. "Ha, ha, ha," he said, as reporters surrounded him during a rare appearance in the Speaker's lobby near the House floor.

Earlier this month, Boehner purchased a $835,000 condo in Marco Island, a vacation and resort community on Florida's Gulf coast, which is dotted with emerald green golf courses and white-sand beaches. Boehner, an avid golfer, is said to love the area, and his family has made many trips there over the years.

The  purchase, however, set off a guessing game in Washington about whether Boehner, 64, is slowly make his way out the door. Boehner's staff dismissed the question soon after news of the purchase broke, and Boehner on Wednesday made sure to squelch any lingering speculation.

"This area of Florida has been the Boehners' family vacation spot for many years, and rather than continue to put money into vacation rentals year after year, they decided to buy a condo," said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel. "Their home is in West Chester, Ohio, and will continue to be."

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