Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) accused John Boehner of being a tool of the Washington establishment on Thursday after the former House speaker called him “Lucifer in the flesh.”
“What Boehner is angry with is the American people holding him accountable,” Cruz said during a press scrum in Fort Wayne, Indiana. “That’s what the anger is because the corrupt system that Boehner and Hillary have been enmeshed with for years, funded by Donald Trump.”
MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson asked Cruz to respond to comments Boehner made during a Wednesday visit to Stanford University, where he called the Texas senator “the most miserable son of a bitch” with whom he’s ever worked.
Though he briefly served as Boehner’s lawyer in a wiretapping case in the late 1990s, Cruz denied having a professional relationship with the former House speaker, choosing instead to tie him to big money elites and GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.
“I’ve never worked with John Boehner. Truth of the matter is I don’t know the man,” Cruz said. “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 would be surprised and every one has consisted of pleasantries, good to see you, Mr. Speaker. I’ve never had any substantive conversation with John Boehner in any respect.”
Cruz charged that Boehner “allowed” his “inner Trump to come out” during the Stanford appearance and noted that the former House speaker described Donald Trump as his “texting and golfing buddy.”
During the press conference, Cruz also brushed aside the notion that he and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) had forged a pact to take down Trump in key upcoming primary races.
“I know the media is all eager to talk about an alliance,” Cruz said. “There is no alliance. Kasich and I made a determination of where to focus our energies, where to focus our assets, where to focus our resources.”
The Cruz and Kasich campaigns announced last week that they had laid out a divide-and-conquer strategy to focus their energies on Indiana (Cruz) and New Mexico and Oregon (Kasich).