Boehner to Cruz: ‘Lucifer in the flesh’

April 28, 2016
Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH)  in Washington October 29, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) in Washington October 29, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner stepped out of retirement on Wednesday to weigh in on the 2016 presidential campaign – and he had no qualms about speaking his mind.

Boehner, a Republican who stepped down from his post atop the U.S. House of Representatives in the fall, made a face when asked about Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz during a talk at Stanford Wednesday night, according to an account in the student newspaper.

“Lucifer in the flesh,” Boehner said of the U.S. Senator whom he worked alongside in Congress for three years. “I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”

Boehner has long been critical of the Texas Senator who led the government to the brink of a shutdown in 2013, and Cruz is notoriously unpopular on Capitol Hill. (“If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you,” fellow Senator Lindsey Graham said in February.)

In the Stanford address, Boehner described the other two Republican presidential hopefuls, billionaire Donald Trump and Ohio Governor John Kasich, as friends. He’ll vote for Trump if he wins the party’s nomination, Boehner said, calling the candidate a longtime golf partner and a “texting buddy.”

He will not, however, vote for Cruz.

On the Democratic side, Boehner called U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders the most honest politician in the race, though he stated that he disagreed with Sanders on all the issues.

He appeared to take a page out of Trump’s book by criticizing Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton for her gender. He impersonated her by saying, “Oh I’m a woman, vote for me,” according to the Stanford report, though he later said he found her very accomplished and smart.

Boehner’s remarks — which, according his spokesman, the former Speaker knew would be reported by the student newspaper-– quickly drew fire from Cruz and other anti-establishment conservatives.

On Twitter, Cruz retweeted users calling the Boehner slam a positive endorsement and proof that he has pitted himself against the establishment.

“Tell me again who will stand up to Washington?” Cruz tweeted. “Trump, who’s Boehner’s ‘texting and golfing buddy,’ or Carly & me?”

Boehner’s attacks are also familiar to conservatives who “know all too well” about his closeness with Democrats, said Adam Brandon of FreedomWorks, a Tea Party group.

“We hope Boehner finds some class as he continues his retirement,” Brandon said in a statement. “Maybe more time will help him become less bitter.”

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