At a lunch Monday afternoon sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, Speaker of the House John Boehner recalled when he first met Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican and Mitt Romney’s running mate. 

“Twenty-three years ago, I was running for Congress for the first time," Boehner told reporters. "I was in a race that I couldn’t win. You know, my name looks Beener, Bonner, Boner. If they can’t say your name, they’re not going to vote for you. And I was running against Buz Lukens and a former member of Congress named Tom Kindness in a Republican primary. And I had a 20-year-old student from Miami of Ohio named Paul Ryan putting yard signs up for me."

Boehner added that he returned the favor by helping Ryan win his first election the House in 1998 as well as helping install Ryan as the Budget Committee chairman over more senior House members in 2011.

Boehner praised Ryan as a “bright young man who works hard” and said his selection by Mitt Romney as the vice presidential nominee was a “riskier choice” that “really says more about Mitt Romney than it does about Paul Ryan.”

“[Ryan] knows more about the debt crisis that we face and solutions to it than most anybody in the House, and probably knows more about pro-growth economic policies than almost anyone in the House,” Boehner said.

The House speaker praised Romney for his boldness with the pick.

“I think he understood that he had to be on offense and that we have to be on offense through this election. And by putting someone as strong with a very clear record as Paul Ryan on the ticket says an awful lot about our nominee,” Boehner continued. “And I think it’s brought energy to the campaign and I think it’s brought energy to the candidate.”