“Lucifer in the flesh,” is how Boehner described Cruz when asked about the crop of presidential hopefuls during an event held at Stanford University last night. “I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life,” he added, gifting late-night TV writers working on tonight’s opening monologues.
But first, TV news channels feasted on Boehner’s candor all day long. In the un-televised event, Boehner said he played golf with Donald Trump for years, describing his relationship with the real estate mogul-turned-reality TV star-turned-GOP front-runner as “texting buddies.”
The other remaining GOP candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, “requires more effort on my behalf than all my other friends,” Boehner said. “But he’s still my friend, and I love him.”
Boehner said he was surprised at Trump’s success in this election cycle – joining a large club of politicians and TV news pundits – and said he would vote for Trump in the general election if he becomes the party’s nominee. But if Cruz becomes the GOP nominee, Boehner said he would not vote for his party’s candidate.
Just as TV news talking heads seemed to have exhausted the coverage possibilities, Trump jumped in on the fun, at a rally in Indiana: “If Cruz sneezes, his people leave him. Believe me, there is no loyalty. Who can listen to him? In the Senate he’s known as a liar. Marco Rubio, who’s a good guy, called him a liar in the debate.”
syndicated talk radio host and Cruz supporter Steve Deace, meanwhile, took to TV to call Boehner’s “Lucifer” crack a “gift from God.”
“If Team Cruz does not have a Crying Boehner ‘endorsement’ on the air somewhere in Indiana by the end of business today, I don’t want to live in this world anymore,” Deace prattled happily this afternoon. “The establishment says: ‘Here is a guy we really hate, Ted Cruz. And here’s the guy who helped put all of us in office and gave us huge donations, Donald Trump. This is the kind of branding you are looking for.”
Cruz responded along same lines, at one of his Indiana rallies today: “He allowed his inner Trump to come out,” he snickered, because he couldn’t think of anything worse.
“If you want someone who’s a texting and golfing buddy, if you’re happy with John Boehner as Speaker of the House, and you want a president like John Boehner, Donald Trump is your man,” Cruz added. “Donald Trump has been funding John Boehner. He’s also been funding Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid. If you like what Boehner, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have done, Donald Trump’s your guy.”
As to Boehner’s calling him the worst SOB with whom he’s ever had the misfortune to work, Cruz thinks he’s caught the guy on a technicality: “I never worked with John Boehner. Truth of the the matter is I don’t know the man. I met John Boehner two or three times in my life. If I have said 50 words in my life to John Boehner I’d be surprised, and every one of them has consisted of pleasantries: ‘Good to see you, Mr. Speaker’.”
Except, that is, for that time during the 2013 government shutdown when “I reached out to John Boehner” and offered to “come over, resolve this and get something meaningful done,” Cruz continued, turning on a dime.
“John Boehner’s response was: ‘I have no interest in talking with you. What possibly could be accomplished by having a conversation,'” Cruz claimed.
“When John Boehner calls me Lucifer, he’s not directing it at me, he’s directing that at you,” Cruz told his audience. “That anger with me is for standing with the American people, energizing and encouraging House conservatives to stand with the American people and truly honor the commitments we have made.”