Boehner reveals why he won't back down from Cruz feud: 'I've just decided, screw Ted Cruz'

John Boehner explains ongoing feud with Ted Cruz

Former House Speaker joins ‘Special Report’ to discuss his career and disagreements with fellow Republicans

Former House Speaker John Boehner revealed the reason for his public vitriol toward Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas in a wide-ranging interview on “Special Report” Tuesday.

“The guy was always stirring up trouble with some of the knuckleheads in my caucus,” Boehner told “Special Report” host Bret Baier.

Boehner explained that while he got along well with most of his Republican colleagues during his time on Capitol Hill, there were roughly “30 of them that weren’t conservative — I’m a conservative Republican — they were knuckleheads and Ted Cruz came over and kept winding them up to do crazy things that have never had a chance of becoming law.”

“All you will do is cause problems and so over the years, I’ve just decided, screw Ted Cruz.”


Boehner made headlines earlier this week after he told Cruz to “go f— yourself” in a leaked audio recording. In a subsequent interview with CBS, Boehner explained that he doesn’t typically like to “beat anyone up” but that he’d make an exception for Cruz.

Boehner and Cruz have been publicly trading barbs since February. The senator mocked Boehner’s penchant for alcohol in a tweet last weekend, claiming to wear the former speaker’s “drunken, bloviated scorn” proudly.

“I think he was probably recording at nine or ten in the morning so obviously he had too much wine that day already,” Cruz told the Daily Caller on Saturday. “This guy is a little unhinged.”

Boehner, an Ohio Republican who served as House speaker from 2011-2015, has been promoting his book, “On The House: A Washington Memoir.” 

The feud continued on Tuesday when Cruz posted a photo of Boehner’s book — which refers to him as “Lucifer incarnate” —  resting in his Senate office fireplace, with a caption that read, “Some smart-ass dropped off a copy of Boehner’s new book at my office. It’s even signed! I filed it in the appropriate place.”

“I’m pretty good to most people in the book, but Ted Cruz gets the worst of it,” Boehner admitted.

Elsewhere in the interview, the former speaker revealed that he “still has doubts” about whether the Obama administration was truthful with the American people about the 2012 Benghazi attack that claimed the lives of four Americans. 

“No one is going to ask you this question except here,” Baier said. “What happened? Who was responsible? Did you learn anything from the investigation, do you regret going down that road?

“No, I don’t at all,” Boehner responded, “because I still have doubts about what happened with Benghazi. I think Trey Gowdy and his committee did as good a job as they could do given the information they were allowed to receive, but I tell you what, there are questions about this that bother me, because I am not at all sure that everything couldn’t have been done to save the lives of those Americans who died.”

Reflecting on his career at a later point in the interview, Boehner admitted that his “greatest disappointment” during his time in Congress was not doing more to reduce the U.S. deficit, which required direct consultation with the Obama administration. 


“I wish we could’ve gotten there,” he told Baier. “We would’ve put America on a path forward, but it didn’t happen … but we did cut the deficit five consecutive years. 

“While I was speaker, Barack Obama was president and Harry Reid was [Senate] Majority Leader for most of that time, so there is a way to handle the spending issue but at some point, you’ve got to pay the piper.”

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