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John Boehner Says He's Running For Reelection, Expects To Be Speaker

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WASHINGTON -- John Boehner said Monday he is running for reelection as House speaker in January after the 2014 midterm elections.

The Ohio Republican confirmed his plans before a live audience during an interview with The Texas Tribune, sponsored by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.

"I'm running for reelection, I expect to be speaker," Boehner said, although he would not commit to serving out a full term.

"I can’t predict what will happen," he said. "Listen, I’m going to be 65 years old in November. I never thought I’d live to be 60. So I’m living on borrowed time."

Boehner's comments follow wide speculation that he would give up the gavel after November, speculation fueled even further by his decision to buy property in Florida.

Some of Boehner's closest allies also announced plans to retire this year, leading many to believe the speaker may call it quits given his often contentious relationship with members of his conference.

Boehner said his relationship with House Republicans was "very good," and added that he was "looking forward" to next year.

"This issue comes up from time to time, probably more often than I would like," he said. "I have a very good relationship with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle."

He also dismissed a recent video that showed him making fun of his members for whining about having to deal with immigration reform.

"I can get a little carried away with my teasing," Boehner said. "Listen, when you have 11 brothers and sisters and your dad owned a bar ... I learned a long time ago it's always better to be on offense, so I tease everybody."

"When you have my job there's something you have to learn: A leader without followers is simply a man taking a walk," he added. "I'm elected by my colleagues. I need to work with my colleagues and bring them along."

Boehner was narrowly reelected as speaker in 2013, days after House conservatives were left frustrated by his handling of the fiscal cliff negotiations. It took last fall's government shutdown for Boehner's standing with the tea party to improve, with many of his members praising the speaker for listening to them and refusing to throw in the towel despite immense public pressure.

Several outside conservative groups remain opposed to his speakership, but in recent months Boehner has lashed out at the likes of Heritage Foundation and Club for Growth for misleading both his members and Republican voters.

Boehner also weighed in briefly on the 2016 presidential race. Although he declined to endorse a Republican candidate for president, he appeared to throw some support behind former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

"Jeb Bush is my friend. I think he'd make a great president," he said. "I've been nudging him for some time."

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