John Boehner declines to watch first GOP debate

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) AP Photo/Evan Vucci

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

House Speaker John Boehner, the highest-ranking Republican in the country, decided not to watch Thursday night's debate among Republican presidential contenders, the first debate of the 2012 presidential cycle.

Hotsheet spotted Boehner at Morton's The Steakhouse on Connecticut Avenue in Washington enjoying a bottle of Cabernet - and a couple of cigarettes.

Speaking of the debate, Boehner told Hotsheet that he will "read about it tomorrow."

"There's more time for people to get in," he added.

Many of the most prominent names in the potential GOP 2012 presidential field, including Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee, are not attending Thursday night's debate.

The five candidates who did attend were former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty - arguably the only top-tier candidate in attendance - former Godfather's Pizza Chief Executive Herman Cain, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

One of the topics at the debate was aid to Pakistan, which Boehner says should continue despite the discovery of bin Laden living in comfort in the country. Paul railed against such foreign aid during the debate.

Tim Pawlenty: Republicans need to "get off the sidelines" of presidential race

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