John Boehner likened Ted Cruz to the devil on Wednesday. (Photo: Yuri Gripas/Reuters/File)
Former House Speaker John Boehner offered a rather blunt assessment of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Wednesday night.
“Lucifer in the flesh,” Boehner said during a talk hosted by Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., according to the Stanford Daily. “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.”
The Ohio Republican, who retired from Congress last fall, said he would vote for whomever the party nominates for president — unless it’s Cruz.
Boehner described the other two GOP hopefuls, Donald Trump and John Kasich, as his “friends.”
Boehner said he has played golf with Trump for years and that they were “texting buddies.” His relationship with the Ohio governor, however, “requires more effort on my behalf than all my other friends … but he’s still my friend, and I love him.”
Cruz, who introduced Carly Fiorina as his running mate on Wednesday, responded to Boehner’s barb on Twitter Thursday morning.
“Tell me again who will stand up to Washington?” the Texas senator tweeted. “Trump, who’s Boehner’s ‘texting and golfing buddy,’ or Carly & me?”
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 allowed his inner Trump to come out,” Cruz said later at a press conference in Indiana. “I think John Boehner has made it crystal clear … if you want a president like John Boehner, Donald trump is your man.”
On the Democratic side, Boehner called Bernie Sanders “a nice guy” and “the most honest politician” in the race despite disagreeing with the Vermont senator on virtually every issue.
But Boehner drew boos from the audience for suggesting Hillary Clinton is pandering to female voters.
“‘Oh, I’m a woman, vote for me,’” he reportedly said.
And while Boehner believes Clinton will ultimately win the Democratic nomination, there could be more twists in store.
“Don’t be shocked … if two weeks before the convention, here comes Joe Biden parachuting in and Barack Obama fanning the flames to make it all happen,” he said.
While waiting at San Francisco International Airport for his flight back to Washington, D.C., Boehner didn’t back away from the comments and seemed surprised that they caused such a stir.
“It’s not like I haven’t said the same thing in a bunch of speeches this year,” the former House speaker told Yahoo News.
During an appearance at a financial conference in Florida last month, Boehner, who had previously labeled Cruz a “jackass,” referred to the Texas senator as “Lucifer.”
At the same event, Boehner endorsed his successor, House Speaker Paul Ryan, for president.
“If we don’t have a nominee who can win on the first ballot, I’m for none of the above,” Boehner said, according to Politico. “They all had a chance to win. None of them won. So I’m for none of the above. I’m for Paul Ryan to be our nominee.”
But Boehner told Yahoo News he thinks Trump will win the nomination, barring a major self-inflicted error.