Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) may be in the cannabis business, but he suggested Thursday it's the merlot talking when he slips profane asides into the audiobook version of his memoir on his former life of power politics in Washington's "smoke-filled rooms."
What kind of expletives? Well, in one aside, two people tell Axios, Boehner said, "Oh, and Ted Cruz, go f--k yourself." A Boehner spokesman, David Schnittger, confirmed "there were some off-script moments during his recording of the audiobook," adding: "He pretty much just let it fly, as he did when he was working on the book itself. He's not really interested in being anything other than himself these days. That is kind of the spirit of the entire project."
It isn't clear what prompted the dig at Cruz, but Boehner famously called the Texas senator "Lucifer in the flesh" during the 2016 GOP presidential primary, adding: "I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life." His view is widely shared, especially after Cruz's micro-vacation to Cancun during the Texas frigid blackout crisis. In a Feb. 20-22 Yahoo/YouGov poll released Wednesday, only 24 percent of voters said they approve of Cruz's job performance, including a paltry 53 percent of Republicans — a drop of 24 percentage points from his January rating in a separate poll.
Boehner has been famously unfiltered in his retirement, but Cruz seems to invite colorful comments on his unpopularity. "If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) quipped in 2016. Former Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) wrote in his autobiography: "I like Ted Cruz more than most of my other colleagues like Ted Cruz. And I hate Ted Cruz."
Even President Biden seems to be snubbing Cruz when he visits Houston on Friday to survey recovery efforts from last week's winter haymaker. Biden will mostly travel in Texas with Gov. Greg Abbott (R), and when reporters asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki if Cruz and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) will tag along, she said dryly, "There are some limitations on space."