WASHINGTON — Former House Speaker John Boehner called Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh,” in a withering interview at Stanford University published Thursday.
In it, he repeated many of the same attacks he used last month while calling on his successor, Paul Ryan, to seek the Republican nomination.
“Lucifer in the flesh,” Boehner told Stanford’s David Kennedy, a history professor emeritus, 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 b**** in my life.”
Boehner also said he was “texting buddies” with GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump and friends with former House colleague and fellow Ohioan, John Kasich.
The Cruz campaign and Boehner staff did not immediately return requests for comment.
But Cruz tweeted his response: “Tell me again who will stand up to Washington? Trump, who’s Boehner’s “texting and golfing buddy,” or Carly & me?”
Cruz has been arguing for months now that he is the candidate best positioned to unify the Republican Party ahead of the November battle.
But his support among his many Senate and House colleagues has been tepid at best — with a handful of senators only recently endorsing him.
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 last fall.
Boehner also compared Cruz to the devil last month in a talk before financial industry lobbyists and executives in Florida. In the same March speech he urged Ryan to seek the nomination.
“If we don’t have a nominee who can win on the first ballot, I’m for none of the above,” Boehner said at the Futures Industry Association conference. “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.”
Ryan has adamantly ruled out accepting the Republican nomination.