Ted Cruz fired back on Thursday at John Boehner, who reportedly disparaged the Texas senator during an event at Stanford University
Cruz said Boehner’s comments, in which he called Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh,” showed that the former House speaker had “allowed his inner Trump to come out.”
The GOP presidential hopeful, standing alongside his newly announced potential running mate in Carly Fiorina, also said he had no previous working relationship with Boehner.
“I don’t know John Boehner,” Cruz said, adding that he’d be surprised if he’s said more than 50 words to him. “I’ve met the man two or three times.”
Cruz and Boehner frequently clashed during their time in Congress, prominently leading up to and during the 2013 federal-government shutdown. On Thursday, Cruz launched into a story about a time he claimed to have attempted to work with Boehner during the shutdown, during which Cruz had outsized influence over the Republican strategy:
This is something that’s not publicly known. During the government shutdown, I reached out to John Boehner, and I offered for [Utah Sen.] and me to come over and work with the speaker and actually get something done to stop the disaster that is Obamacare.
John Boehner’s response was, “I have no interest in talking to you. What could possibly be accomplished by talking. No I will not meet.”
So when he says I’m the worst guy he’s ever worked with, he’s never worked with me.
During a Wednesday appearance at Stanford University, Boehner reportedly went as far as calling Cruz “a miserable son of a bitch.”
“Lucifer in the flesh,” the former speaker said, according to The Stanford Daily, a student newspaper.
He continued: “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.”
Boehner said he would vote for GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump in a general election. He said he had played golf with the Manhattan billionaire, whom Boehner considers a “texting” buddy. Boehner said, however, that he would not vote for Cruz if Cruz became the nominee.
Boehner has leveled several rounds of blunt criticism at Cruz over the past few years, and the two repeatedly clashed when Boehner led the House Republican caucus. Late last year, Boehner referred to Cruz as a “false prophet” and a “jackass.”