Boehner Explains His Decision to Quit Visit by Pope Francis helped push him to final decision By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Sep 25, 2015 12:49 PM CDT 77 comments Comments House Speaker John Boehner at today's news conference. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) (Newser) – John Boehner today elaborated on his stunning decision to resign from Congress, saying that while he'd been considering it for a while, he didn't decide for certain until this very morning. He reiterated that he did so to save the House from turmoil, and here, via the Washington Post, he elaborates on how Pope Francis' visit played at least a small role in his decision: Golden rule: "Just yesterday we witnessed the awesome sight of Pope Francis addressing the greatest legislative body in the world, and I hope we would all heed his call to live by the golden rule,” Boehner said. “This morning, I woke up, and said my prayers … and I said, ‘Today is the day I’m going to do this.’ As simple as that. That’s the code I live by: You do the right things for the right reasons." Some other highlights: Early birthday: Boehner said that he initially planned to quit on his birthday, Nov. 17, reports WHIO, but decided to move things up given the current trouble with conservatives looking to oust him in the Planned Parenthood showdown. Legacy: "I'm proud of what we've accomplished," he said. "It's been an honor." Pope meeting: Boehner, a Catholic, choked up talking about a brief one-on-one with Pope Francis, notes ABC. "The pope puts his arm around me and says, 'Please pray for me.' ... Wow." Who's next? "I think that Kevin McCarthy would be an excellent speaker," he said of the House majority leader from California. Boehner, though, noted that he won't be around to vote on that.