Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz fires back at the former House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday for calling him “Lucifer in the flesh” and a “son of a b**ch” by saying “he allowed his inner Trump to come out” and framing the comments as an attack on Americans, in general,, not himself, according to the Week.
Earlier Wednesday, the Stanford Daily reported, while speaking about election and his time in office at a town hall-style event for students at Stanford University in California, Boehner called Republican front-runner Donald Trump his “texting buddy.” But when specifically asked his opinions on Ted Cruz, the former speaker made a face, drawing laughter from the crowd, and offered a more graphic response.
“Lucifer in the flesh… 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 b**ch in my life.”
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 28, 2016
Boehner, who left Congress last October, described other Republican candidates as friends. In particular, he said he has played golf with Donald Trump for years and that they were “texting buddies.” His relationship with Ohio Governor John Kasich, however, was a little more ambiguous.
“[Kasich] requires more effort on my behalf than all my other friend… but he’s still my friend, and I love him.”
Ted Cruz, who’s campaigning in Fort Wayne, Indiana, ahead of the state’s May 3 primary, first tweeted a response to the former speaker’s comment Thursday morning.
Tell me again who will stand up to Washington? Trump, who's Boehner's "texting and golfing buddy," or Carly & me? https://t.co/qvYPSaTEV7
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 28, 2016
He later told reporters, standing alongside his newly named running mate Carly Fiorina, that Boehner was letting his “inner Trump come out.”
“The interesting thing is I’ve never worked with John Boehner, I don’t know the man… Indeed, during the government shut down, I reached out to John Boehner, to work with him, to get something meaningful done. He said, ‘I have no interest in talking to you.'”
Boehner and Cruz clashed over the government shutdown and Obamacare fights from the time Cruz took his Senate seat in 2013 to when Boehner stepped down.
Ted said the Ohio Republican’s comments reflect his frustration with Americans who stand with Republicans who wish to hold members of Congress accountable for their campaign promises to repeal Obama’s health care law and pursue other conservative goals.
He then addressed Boehner’s “Lucifer” remark.
“When John Boehner calls me Lucifer, he’s not directing that at me. He’s directing that at you… What Boehner is angry with me for is standing with the American people, is energizing and encouraging House conservatives to stand with the American people and actually honor the commitments we’ve made.”
The Texas Senator then mocked Boehner’s “friendship” with Trump.
“John Boehner in his remarks described Donald Trump as his texting and golfing buddy… So if you want someone that’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.”
According to NBC News, the rocky history between Cruz and Boehner is not new. The Texas senator was effectively a “player coach” in the move to remove Boehner from the House speakership last year. On Capitol Hill, Cruz frequently met with a core group of very conservative House members and hone their strategies to challenge Boehner’s leadership. Sen. Cruz played a significant role in the dissent that prompted the former speaker choose to step down.
Both Boehner and Cruz had spoken in civil tones about each other publicly, but now liberated from politics, the ex-speaker invoked his more colorful side to describe the senator on Wednesday when he called him “Lucifer in the flesh.”
The Guardian observes that John Boehner’s calling Ted Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh” and the way the latter fires back underlines the growing discontent within the Republican party.
[Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images]