Former House Speaker John Boehner has never been much of a fan of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.
He made that clearer than ever Wednesday.
“Lucifer in the flesh,” Boehner said of Cruz during an appearance at Stanford University, according to the student newspaper. “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, who stepped down as speaker last year, is not known for masking his disdain for Cruz, whose crusades in the Senate have often reverberated in lower chamber. Boehner has previously called Cruz a “jackass” and reportedly raised a middle finger when asked about him.
In the same remarks at Stanford, Boehner said he is friendlier with another Republican presidential candidate: frontrunner Donald Trump. In Boehner’s telling, according to The Stanford Daily, the two have played golf together and are “texting buddies.”
Boehner also said he would vote for Trump, but not Cruz, in a general election.
That gave Cruz all the ammunition he needed to weigh in on Boehner’s barbs Thursday morning.
“Tell me again who will stand up to Washington? Trump, who’s Boehner’s ‘texting and golfing buddy,’ or Carly & me?” Cruz tweeted, referring to his newly named running mate, Carly Fiorina.
Later Thursday morning, Cruz sought to further tie Boehner to Trump, saying the former House speaker “allowed his inner Trump to come out.”
“If you want a president like John Boehner, Donald Trump’s your man,” Cruz told reporters before a rally in Fort Wayne, Indiana, according to an ABC News livestream. “If you like what John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have done, Donald Trump is your guy.”
Cruz also denied that he had ever “worked with” Boehner, as the former House speaker had claimed. Instead, Cruz revealed that in one instance where he tried to collaborate with Boehner — during the 2013 government shutdown — the then-House speaker turned away his request for a conciliatory meeting.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2016/04/28/boehner-calls-cruz-lucifer-flesh/.