Boehner: Obama did as good a job with Egypt as was possible

House Speaker John A. Boehner said Sunday he thinks the Obama administration handled “a very difficult situation” in Egypt about as well as possible, undercutting potential Republican presidential candidates who have charged that President Obama botched the U.S. response to a popular revolt against a key ally.

Boehner, the nation’s top Republican elected official, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he thought there was a need for an assessment to determine why the U.S. intelligence community “didn’t have a better feel for” the grass-roots movements that felled authoritarian regimes in Tunisia and Egypt in recent weeks. But he treaded lightly, declining to accuse the spy services of failing.

The situation “surprised everyone,” he said.