It seems Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz has not made many friends while working in Congress. Former House speaker John Boehner called the Texas Senator 'Lucifer in the flesh' while New York Congressman Peter King said Cruz gives Lucifer a bad name. In return, Cruz claimed Boehner's 'inner Trump' has come out.
During a talk in California, Boehner said, "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." Despite his apparent hatred of Cruz, Boehner said he was "texting buddies" with Donald Trump and said he was also friends with Ohio Governor John Kasich, The Stanford Daily reported.
"[Kasich] requires more effort on my behalf than all my other friends," Boehner said, "... but he's still my friend, and I love him." The former speaker said he would vote for Trump if he becomes the party's nominee but claimed he would not vote for Cruz.
It seems that Boehner is not the only one to believe the presidential candidate is the devil incarnate. Congressman Peter King spoke to CNN and said he agreed with Boehner's comments and even went a bit further.
"Maybe he gives Lucifer a bad name by comparing him to Ted Cruz," King said. "Listen, what John Boehner was most concerned about was Ted Cruz perpetrated a fraud and a hoax when he brought about the shutdown of the government on some kind of a vague promise that he was gonna be able to take Obamacare out of the budget or to end Obamacare."
The New York Republican said Cruz knew his plan would not work, but went ahead with it anyway. He "shut down the government, cost the government money" and "served no purpose whatsoever other than to boost his name identification," King said, according to POLITICO.
Unlike Boehner, King has expressed his support and his vote for Kasich. POLITICO reported that his hatred for Cruz runs so deep that he has said he would take cyanide if he were to win the party's nomination.
In a news conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Cruz hit back at Boehner and claimed he barely knew him. "He allowed his inner Trump to come out," Cruz said of Boehner's remarks. He added, "I've never worked with John Boehner. Truth of the matter is I don't know the man. I've met John Boehner two or three times in my life. If I have said 50 words in my life to John Boehner, I'd be surprised, and every one of them has consisted of pleasantries."
Cruz also attempted to place some of the blame on Boehner for the government shutdown in 2013. He claimed that he and Utah Senator Mike Lee approached Boehner to get him to work with them to destroy Obamacare. "John Boehner's response was: 'I have no interest in talking to you. What possibly could be accomplished by having a conversation? No, I will not meet.'"
The Texan would go on to usher in the government shutdown with a 21-hour filibuster on the Senate floor, POLITICO noted. Cruz said the former speaker is just angry that Cruz led a grassroots movement to hold those in Washington accountable.
Cruz is currently focusing his campaign energies in Indiana, which will hold its primary on 3 May. The senator suffered crippling defeat on 26 April in five primary states, losing to Trump in all races and coming in third place behind Kasich in four of them. In a last-ditched attempt to rally supporters, Cruz named Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential running mate.