John Boehner left us with no question who he wouldn’t be supporting for president this election cycle — at least for now. On Wednesday, he called Ted Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh.” “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,” he continued.
Miserable as he may be, I don’t recall ever seeing Ted Cruz cry on camera.
Boehner later said he and Trump were golf and texting “buddies,” and that he wouldn’t even vote for Cruz in a general election.
As for Cruz’s response, he claims he’s never worked with Boehner, meeting him only on a few occasions.
“The 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 had said fifty words in my life to John Boehner I would be surprised… I’ve never had a substantive conversation with Mr. Boehner.” Well, according to FOX News however, the two actually worked together back in the nineties.
In fact, Cruz once worked as one of Boehner’s lawyers. This was well before Boehner was speaker, and well before Cruz was a senator.
The pairing dated back to an incident in late 1996, when an elderly couple driving through Florida intercepted a phone call between Boehner and then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich on their police scanner. Boehner and Gingrich were plotting strategy. The couple recorded the call.
At the time, the House Ethics Committee was investigating Gingrich for his book contract – and the couple took the recording to Rep. Jim McDermott, then the top Democrat on the ethics panel. McDermott, in turn, leaked the call to reporters.
Boehner sued McDermott for violating his privacy. The case made its way through the courts for years and eventually to the Supreme Court, which refused to hear the case. As a result, Boehner won.
So what gives?
The Cruz campaign, though, on Thursday stood by the senator’s comments about not knowing Boehner.
Press secretary Catherine Frazier said: “He was a junior associate and his involvement didn’t extend beyond assisting with briefs and attending meetings with [Boehner’s] staff.”
This seems like a reasonable defense – and considering the legal victory, I can’t imagine Boehner was disappointed with their work.
If the two indeed have never met when working with one another, it just goes to prove that Boehner’s opposition to Cruz is motivated by policy, not personality.
[Note: This post was authored by The Analytical Economist]