John Boehner said he skewered Ted Cruz in his book because Cruz was 'stirring up some of the crazies in my own caucus'

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Eliza Relman
·2 min read
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Boehner
Former Speaker of the House John Boehner at Donald Trump's presidential inauguration in 2017. Tom Williams/Getty Images
  • Former GOP House Speaker John Boehner doubled down on his criticism of Sen. Ted Cruz on Monday.

  • Boehner said he "zeroed in" on Cruz because the senator was "stirring up some of the crazies in my own caucus."

  • The former speaker even added in the audiobook of his memoir: "PS, Ted Cruz, go f--- yourself."

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Former Republican House Speaker John Boehner doubled down on his criticism of Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, on Monday.

Boehner told CBS News that he singled Cruz out, calling him "dangerous" and a "reckless a--hole," in his forthcoming book, "On the House: A Washington Memoir," because Cruz had amplified divisions within the GOP House caucus.

"This guy wasn't even a member of the United States House of Representatives, he was a member of the Senate, stirring up some of the crazies in my own caucus to cause all kinds of problems," Boehner said of Cruz during a Monday morning interview. "And that's probably why I zeroed in on him - probably the only person in this book - in the way that I did."

He added, "As I say in the book, there's nothing worse than a reckless jackass who thinks he's smarter than everybody else."

Boehner writes that Cruz was the "head lunatic" leading "the chaos caucus in the House" of Tea Party members and right-wingers more focused on appearing on right-wing media and escalating "outrage" news cycles to drive campaign donations than passing legislation in Washington. In the audiobook of his memoir, Boehner added an unscripted, "PS, Ted Cruz, go f--- yourself."

In a tweet responding to Boehner's criticism last week, Cruz called the former Speaker "the Swamp" and said he's proud to receive his "drunken, bloviated scorn."

The Ohio Republican, who's also a sharp critic of former President Donald Trump, paints himself as an establishment Republican looking to find common ground with Democrats and get things done on policy. He criticizes multiple high-profile right-wing lawmakers, calling Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio a "political terrorist" and former Rep. Michele Bachmann a "lunatic."

But Boehner, who served as speaker from 2011-2015, was overpowered by more right-wing forces in his party and is now out of step with a voter base that remains deeply loyal to Trump and more focused on culture wars than policy change.

Boehner has repeatedly taken aim at Cruz since leaving office. In 2016, he called the senator "Lucifer in the flesh" and told an audience that he'd "never worked with a more miserable son of a b---- in my life."

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