Former GOP House Speaker John Boehner calls fellow Republican Jim Jordan a ‘political terrorist’

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 19: Former House Speaker John Boehner stands for the pledge of allegiance during a ceremony to unveil a portrait in his honor in the U.S. Capitol on November 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. Boehner served as the 53rd speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 2011 to 2015. (Photo by Alex Edelman/Getty Images)
Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) stands for the Pledge of Allegiance during a ceremony to unveil a portrait in his honor at the US Capitol on November 19, 2019.

  • Boehner described several fellow Republicans as “political terrorists,” including Rep. Jim Jordan.
  • “I never saw a guy who spent more time tearing things apart ― never building anything,” he said.
  • In his book, Boehner seemed relieved that he didn’t have to interact with Trump while in office.
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Former GOP House Speaker John Boehner in an upcoming CBS interview scorches several members of his own party for being “political terrorists,” including fellow Ohioan and Republican Rep. Jim Jordan.

During an episode of “CBS Sunday Morning” set to air this weekend, Boehner criticized what he describes as an outgrowth of political opportunism that led to the deadly January 6 riot at the US Capitol.

Boehner, who represented Ohio’s 8th congressional district from 1991 to 2015 and served as House speaker from 2011 to 2015, is promoting his new memoir, “On the House: A Washington Memoir,” which is set to be released on April 13.

When asked by reporter John Dickerson who would fall under his definition of a political terrorist, Jordan’s name immediately sprang up.

“Jim Jordan especially, my colleague from Ohio,” he replied. “I just never saw a guy who spent more time tearing things apart ― never building anything, never putting anything together.”

Jordan, who was first elected to Congress in 2006, has become well-known for his verbal jousting with Democrats on both the Oversight and Judiciary Committees, along with his staunch defense of former President Donald Trump.

Read more: Introducing Todd Young, the most important senator you’ve never heard of

In the same interview, Boehner went after GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, whom he calls a “jerk” and describes as an attention seeker.

“Perfect symbol, you know, of getting elected, making a lot of noise, draw a lot of attention to yourself, raise a lot of money, which means you’re gonna go make more noise, raise more money – it’s really unfortunate,” he said.

Cruz was roundly criticized by many for challenging the 2020 election results after the Capitol riot, even by moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and faced calls for his resignation.

When the subject turned to Trump, who was impeached by the House for “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the riot but acquitted by the Senate, Boehner wouldn’t describe Trump as a political terrorist.

“I’m not in office anymore,” he said. “I don’t have to answer all the questions that I used to have to answer, right? And while it isn’t my style, I don’t wanna use a pejorative term like that ― talking about him or anybody else.”

Boehner, who left office a year before Trump was elected, seemed to relish that he didn’t have to deal with the former president as an elected official.

“That was fine by me because I’m not sure I belonged to the Republican Party he created,” Boehner said in his memoir.

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Ted Cruz derides Boehner criticism as ‘drunken, bloviated scorn’ while mocking the former speaker’s penchant for tears

ted cruz filibuster
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

  • Sen. Ted Cruz derided political criticism from John Boehner as “drunken, bloviated scorn.”
  • Boehner slammed Cruz as a “jerk” who likes to “draw a lot of attention” to himself.
  • In February, Boehner went off-script in an audiobook recording, telling Cruz to “go f— yourself.”
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GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas on Friday tore into former US House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, labeling criticism from one of the party’s most prominent Republicans as “drunken, bloviated scorn.”

In an interview that will air on “CBS Sunday Morning” this weekend, Boehner, who’s promoting his new memoir, “On the House: A Washington Memoir,” lashed into Cruz, describing him as an attention seeker.

“I don’t beat anybody up – it’s not really my style, except for that jerk,” he said. “Perfect symbol, you know, of getting elected, making a lot of noise, draw a lot of attention to yourself, raise a lot of money, which means you’re gonna go make more noise, raise more money – it’s really unfortunate.”

Cruz was ready with a comeback, slamming Boehner as part of the Washington DC political “swamp,” while mocking the former speaker’s penchant for showing emotion in public.

“The Swamp is unhappy,” he tweeted on Friday. “I wear with pride his drunken, bloviated scorn. Please don’t cry.”

Read more: Introducing Todd Young, the most important senator you’ve never heard of

In February, Cruz hit back at Boehner at the the Conservative Political Action Conference after Axios reported that the former speaker told Cruz to “go f— yourself” after veering off-script from his memoir’s audiobook recording.

“You know yesterday, John Boehner made some news,” Cruz said at the time. “He suggested that I do something that is anatomically impossible. To which my response was: Who’s John Boehner?”

Around that time, Boehner tweeted an image of himself with a glass of wine while recording his audiobook.

“Poured myself a glass of something nice to read my audiobook,” he wrote. “You can blame the wine for the expletives.”

Boehner, who served in the House from 1991 to 2015 and was its speaker from 2011 to 2015, described leading the lower chamber during former President Barack Obama’s tenure as becoming the “mayor” of “Crazytown.”

“Crazytown was populated by jackasses, and media hounds, and some normal citizens as baffled as I was about how we got trapped inside the city walls,” Boehner wrote in his memoir. “Every second of every day since Barack Obama became president I was fighting one bats— idea after another.”

Boehner’s book will be released on April 13.

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Former GOP House Speaker John Boehner says he wishes he’d fought against Bill Clinton’s impeachment by Republicans

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton shakes hands with House Speaker John Boehner at the Inaugural Luncheon in Statuary Hall on Inauguration day at the U.S. Capitol building January 21, 2013 in Washington D.C.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton shakes hands with House Speaker John Boehner at the Inaugural Luncheon in Statuary Hall on Inauguration day at the U.S. Capitol building January 21, 2013 in Washington D.C.

  • John Boehner, the former Republican House Speaker, wrote in his forthcoming memoir that he regrets supporting former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment.
  • He argued that the impeachment was a political effort by his party to win House seats in the midterms.
  • “I regret it now,” Boehner wrote of Clinton’s impeachment. “I regret that I didn’t fight against it.”
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John Boehner, the former Republican House Speaker, wrote in his forthcoming memoir that he regrets supporting former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, which he said was a purely political effort.

Clinton’s 1998 impeachment for lying about his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky was orchestrated by Texas Rep. Tom DeLay, the second highest-ranking Republican in the House at the time, Boehner wrote.

“I know what we all said at the time: Bill Clinton was impeached for lying under oath,” Boehner wrote, according to an excerpt of “On the House: A Washington Memoir,” obtained by The Washington Post and The New York Times. “In my view, Republicans impeached him for one reason and one reason only – because it was strenuously recommended to us by one Tom DeLay.”

He added: “Tom believed that impeaching Clinton would win us all these House seats, would be a big win politically, and he convinced enough of the membership and the GOP base that this was true.”

Clinton’s impeachment didn’t end up helping the GOP in the midterms – the party lost five House seats in 1998.

Boehner concedes that he supported the impeachment effort – the House ultimately impeached Clinton on two charges before the Senate acquitted him – but now regrets it. He added that Clinton likely committed perjury, but that “lying about an affair to save yourself from embarrassment isn’t the same as lying about an issue of national security.”

“I was on board at the time,” Boehner wrote. “I won’t pretend otherwise. But I regret it now. I regret that I didn’t fight against it.”

Boehner takes aim at his own party throughout the book, saving his most scathing criticism for members of the right-wing Tea Party. He called Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican, “dangerous” and a “reckless asshole.” And he wrote that former President Donald Trump “incited that bloody insurrection for nothing more than selfish reasons, perpetuated by the bullshit he’d been shoveling since he lost a fair election the previous November.”

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LISTEN: John Boehner adds an unscripted ‘PS, Ted Cruz, go f— yourself’ to the end of an unrelated story while recording the audiobook of his new memoir

John Boehner
  • John Boehner added an off-script “PS, Ted Cruz, go f— yourself” in the audiobook of his memoir.
  • Axios’ Jonathan Swan posted a clip of the former House speaker delivering the insult.
  • Cruz has been a divisive figure in Congress, often despised by Democrats and Republicans alike.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former House Speaker John Boehner added an off-script insult of “PS, Ted Cruz, go f— yourself” during an apparently wine-fueled recording of the audiobook of his forthcoming memoir, “On The House.”

In the book, which is set to be released on April 13, Boehner doesn’t hold back on doling out brutally honest and often harsh assessments of the fellow GOP lawmakers he led and, at times, clashed with during his 30-year career in elected office.

In a 32-second audio clip of Boehner’s audiobook recording posted on Twitter by Axios’ Jonathan Swan, Boehner ends an upbeat and hopeful but unrelated musing about the promise of freedom with the fiery message directed at Cruz. It is unclear whether the insult made it into the final version of the audiobook.

“Freedom means that you can be a genius and invent new products that make you millions of dollars and help millions of people. It means you’re free to work your way to become the first in your family to go to college. It means you’re free to reach as high as you want, no matter where you came from, even if you’re a little kid sweeping a bar out in southwest Ohio. Take it from me: you’ll never know where you end up. That’s freedom. I’ll raise a glass to that any day,” Boehner said.

Then he added: “PS, Ted Cruz, go f— yourself.”

Cruz has been a divisive figure in Congress, at times openly disliked by his Democratic and Republican colleagues alike. After being elected to the US Senate from Texas in 2012, he made a major splash on the national stage with a filibuster against the Affordable Care Act.

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In an excerpt of “On The House” published Friday in Politico Magazine, Boehner similarly let loose on Cruz, calling him the “new head lunatic leading the way” of “the chaos caucus in the House.”

“There is nothing more dangerous than a reckless asshole who thinks he is smarter than everyone else. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Senator Ted Cruz,” Boehner wrote. “He enlisted the crazy caucus of the GOP in what was a truly dumbass idea. Not that anybody asked me.”

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Former GOP House Speaker John Boehner in new book excerpt calls Ted Cruz a ‘reckless a–hole who thinks he is smarter than everyone else’

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, answers questions on his opinion on the resignation of Speaker of the House John Boehner at the Values Voters Summit at the Omni Shoreham hotel in Washington D.C., Friday, September 25, 2015.
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, answers questions on his opinion on the resignation of Speaker of the House John Boehner at the Values Voters Summit at the Omni Shoreham hotel in Washington D.C., Friday, September 25, 2015.

  • Former House Speaker John Boehner didn’t mince words about his ex-GOP colleagues in his new book, “On the House.”
  • Boehner calls Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas “dangerous” and a “reckless a–hole” in an excerpt of his forthcoming book.
  • This isn’t the first time Boehner, who served as House speaker from 2011-2015, has made his dislike for Cruz known.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former House Speaker John Boehner didn’t mince words when reflecting on his GOP congressional colleagues, including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who he called “dangerous” and a “reckless a–hole” in an excerpt from his new book.

“By 2013 the chaos caucus in the House had built up their own power base thanks to fawning right-wing media and outrage-driven fundraising cash,” Boehner wrote in “On the House: A Washington Memoir,” a portion of which was published in Politico on Friday. “And now they had a new head lunatic leading the way, who wasn’t even a House member. There is nothing more dangerous than a reckless a–hole who thinks he is smarter than everyone else. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Senator Ted Cruz.”

This isn’t the first time Boehner, who served as House speaker from 2011-2015, has made his dislike for Cruz known. Axios reported in February that Boehner went off-script in the recording of his book and, when discussing Cruz, added, “Oh, and Ted Cruz, go f— yourself.”

And in 2016, Boehner called Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh.”

“I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life,” Boehner said during a talk at Stanford University.

Boehner had comparatively nicer things to say about former President Barack Obama than he does about a whole segment of his own party, which he argues has succumbed to “paranoia” and is led by conspiracy theorists. Boehner wrote that while Obama didn’t do enough to appeal to Republicans in Congress, it would’ve been difficult for him to negotiate with a party led by “right-wing propaganda nuts” and “kooks on YouTube spreading dangerous nonsense” about the then-president.

“[Obama] could come off as lecturing and haughty. He still wasn’t making Republican outreach a priority,” Boehner wrote. “But on the other hand-how do you find common cause with people who think you are a secret Kenyan Muslim traitor to America?”

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Former House Speaker John Boehner can be heard telling Ted Cruz to ‘go f— yourself’ in an audiobook recording, report says

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 19: Former House Speaker John Boehner stands for the pledge of allegiance during a ceremony to unveil a portrait in his honor in the U.S. Capitol on November 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. Boehner served as the 53rd speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 2011 to 2015. (Photo by Alex Edelman/Getty Images)
Former House Speaker John Boehner.

  • John Boehner went off script while recording the audiobook of his new memoir, Axios reported.
  • In one session, the former House speaker reportedly called out Ted Cruz, saying, “Go f— yourself.”
  • Cruz was recently vilified for flying to Cancún as a winter storm swept his home state of Texas.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Former House Speaker John Boehner went off script while recording the audiobook of his upcoming memoir and could be heard telling Sen. Ted Cruz to “go f— yourself,” Axios reported.

Boehner’s memoir, “On the House: A Washington Memoir,” scheduled to be released in April, chronicles his time as Republican Party representative and House speaker from 2011 to 2015.

The audiobook also contains Boehner’s off-script commentary. In one recent recording session, Axios reported, Boehner stopped reading from the book and said, “Oh, and Ted Cruz, go f—- yourself.”

The context and date of the remark were unclear. But Cruz has recently been criticized over his decision to take his family on vacation to Cancún, Mexico, while millions of people in his home state of Texas lost power or water during a winter storm.

Cruz initially claimed that he was going to Cancún only to drop off his family and was to fly home immediately. When he returned, he said he regretted the decision.

Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz speaking to reporters on February 13.

On Thursday, Boehner tweeted a photo of himself in a recording studio holding a glass of wine. “Poured myself a glass of something nice to read my audiobook,” he said. “You can blame the wine for the expletives.”

David Schnittger, a spokesman for Boehner, told Axios: “I can confirm there were some off-script moments during his recording of the audiobook.”

Schnittger added: “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.”

Cruz did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. But he alluded to the report in a Friday appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference, saying: “You know yesterday, John Boehner made some news. He suggested that I do something that is anatomically impossible. To which my response was: Who’s John Boehner?” according to CNN’s Eric Bradner and CBS News’ Caitlin Huey-Burns.

Boehner and Cruz have a long and fractious relationship, with Cruz often claiming not to know Boehner.

During a speech at Stanford University in April 2016, Boehner called Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh.”

“I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a b—- in my life,” Boehner said at the time.

Cruz responded that he and Boehner had never worked together. “If I had said 50 words to John Boehner in my life, I would be surprised,” Cruz told NBC News.

However, Cruz and Boehner have known each other since 1998.

Cruz, once a lawyer, represented Boehner in court as Boehner sued Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott, accusing him of leaking the recording of a sensitive phone call.

The relationship ended there, and Boehner did not seek out Cruz after he joined Congress in 2013, NBC News said.

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