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The softer side of John Boehner

Last night, I joined Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) and Rep. William Lipinski (D-Ill.) at a reception for Americans United for Life, where Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) received the Henry J. Hyde Defender of Life Award. Over the course of a very brief address, Boehner was repeatedly moved to tears. Robert Stacy McCain captured part of the speech:

Afterward, Boehner told a few reporters -- me, Politico's David Catanese, and US News & World Report's Paul Bedard -- why he'd choked up.

"Look, Henry Hyde was a hero of mine," he said. "I've always believed that life begins at conception. I've always thought abortion was wrong, and speaking out against it was never difficult. It was a moral position I felt very strongly about."

It's not unheard of for Boehner to tear up in the heat of a policy debate.

"He's got a big heart," said Trent Franks.

By David Weigel  |  May 6, 2010; 10:05 AM ET
Categories:  Congress  
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