With few GOP allies left, Ted Cruz takes refuge at Mar-a-Lago with his former enemy President Trump

Ted Cruz Donald Trump
Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.

  • Sen. Ted Cruz and former President Donald Trump had dinner together on Tuesday night.
  • Trump and Cruz spent years at each other’s throats, but Cruz became a loyal ally to Trump during his impeachment.
  • Both face potential roadblocks in their political careers right now, which may have pushed them toward a cynical but politically expedient alignment.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Politics makes for strange bedfellows – and dinner companions.

On Tuesday night, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz posted a photo of himself enjoying dinner with former President Donald Trump at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property.

“Had a great dinner tonight with President Trump at Mar-a-Lago. He’s in great spirits! We spent the evening talking about working together to re-take the House & Senate in 2022,” Cruz wrote.

This candlelit dinner may come as a surprise to anyone who’s been following the relationship between the pair over the years. Neither has been shy about expressing their utter disgust about the other one, nor have they been shy about their ambitions for political power. Their union shows what unbridled cynicism and ambition look like when they cross paths.

What might they talk about at dinner? The time Trump accused Cruz’s father of plotting JFK’s assassination or the time he insulted Heidi Cruz’s looks?

Maybe they discuss when Cruz once joked to Jimmy Kimmel: “If I were in my car and getting ready to reverse and saw Donald in the backup camera, I’m not confident which pedal I’d push.”

The two have spouted a dictionary’s worth of insults at one another over the years.

Trump called Cruz “a totally unstable individual” and “worse than Hillary.” Cruz, meanwhile, called Trump a “pathological liar,” a “sniveling coward,” and “consistently disgraceful.”

But they’re also well aware of the political capital the other one holds, even – and especially – as divisive figures within the GOP. Trump turned to Cruz during the 2018 midterm elections, hoping to heal some of the cracks within the party. It didn’t work – Republicans lost Congress – but it at least garnered Cruz a new nickname. He went from “Lyin’ Ted” to “Beautiful Ted.”

“My attitude is, I’ve got a job to do,” Cruz said in an interview with The Washington Post in 2o2o. “To do my job, I’ve got to work with the president. And, you know, I could have made the choice to allow my feelings to be hurt, to take my marbles and go home. But I think that would’ve been an irresponsible choice.”

Cruz also played a major part in Trump’s challenges to the 2020 election. He agreed to argue a Texas lawsuit in front of the Supreme Court on behalf of Trump’s cause. The case never made it to the Court, but Cruz has become a useful and loyal ally to the former president.

This week, as Trump anxiously awaits the decision of an independent oversight board over whether he’ll be able to join Facebook again, he may be in need of that loyalty: According to one anonymous source close to the campaign, getting back his Facebook account is “essential for his future political viability.”

If he doesn’t have his account restored, he’ll have to rely on his new blog to communicate with voters.

Cruz may also need a friend. Last week he published a Wall Street Journal editorial saying he’d no longer help “woke CEOs” with tax breaks or regulatory changes.

“To America’s watch-me-woke-it-up CEOs, I say: When the time comes that you need help with a tax break or a regulatory change, I hope the Democrats take your calls because we may not. Starting now, we won’t take your money either,” he tweeted.

Walter Shaub, who ran the Office of Government Ethics under both Obama and Trump, said Cruz’s statement was, possibly “the most openly corrupt thing any Senator has said.”

“It’s the part everyone knows: these crooks sell access. Others have the sense not to admit it. This is why our republic is broken. Immoral politicians selling power we’ve entrusted to them like it’s theirs to sell,” he continued.

Cruz has always been something of a pariah within his party. As an early member of the Tea Party Caucus, Cruz was in the ironic position of being a leader in a government he’d vowed to dismantle.

Politicians including Chris Christie, John Boehner, and former President George W. Bush have all expressed open dislike of him.

“If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you,” Lindsey Graham said at the Washington Press Club Foundation’s 72nd Congressional Dinner, in 2016.

In February, Cruz angered politicians on both sides of the aisle when he jetted off to Cancun with his family during one of the worst winter storms in Texas history. For that, he garnered the moniker “least sympathetic politician in America.”

Still, Cruz’s current term doesn’t end until 2024, which means he still has time to refashion his image and push for further power within the party.

Cruz and Trump may be two of the most polarizing politicians in America, but at least they have each other.

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Ted Cruz appeared to doze off during President Biden’s first joint address to Congress

ted cruz sleep congress
  • Sen. Ted Cruz appeared to doze off during Joe Biden’s address to Congress.
  • The Texas senator later called the speech “boring, but radical.”
  • Other GOP lawmakers appeared similarly disinterested in Biden’s speech.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz appeared to doze off during President Joe Biden’s first joint address to Congress on Wednesday night.

Cruz, who has been fiercely critical of President Biden, was filmed struggling to keep his eyes open as he watched Biden give his address in the House.

President Biden used the speech to talk about the progress of his administration in its first 100 days, touching on issues including the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic and Biden’s $1.8 trillion stimulus package.

In one clip, which reportedly took place more than an hour into Biden’s speech, the president was discussing immigration reform and said: “If you actually want to solve a problem, I’ve sent a bill to take a close look at it.”

As Biden spoke, broadcast footage cut to Cruz twice, who appears to be dropping off to sleep.

Cruz later quoted a clip of the incident, along with the caption “BoringButRadical.”

The Texas senator later told Fox News: “The speech by design was calm and dulcet tones. I challenge you to remember a single line from the speech. It was monotone, the chamber was nearly empty.”

“Joe is deliberately being boring but the substance of what he’s saying is radical.”

Other GOP lawmakers were also critical of the substance of Biden’s speech, Insider’s Oma Seddiq reported.

Rep. Lauren Boebert live-tweeted criticism of the speech, and subsequently wrote that the “best thing about this speech is that it’s over.”

Rep. Jim Jordan, meanwhile, shook his head vigorously while Biden discussed his economic reforms, according to a report.

After the speech concluded, GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted: “This whole thing could have just been an email.”

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Republicans shake their heads, doze off, and live-tweet during Biden’s first joint address to Congress

rep lauren boebert
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) during U.S. President Joe Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress in the U.S. Capitol on April 28, 2021.

  • Many Republicans seemed unmoved during Biden’s joint address to Congress on Wednesday.
  • Rep. Lauren Boebert live-tweeted criticism of Biden during the speech.
  • Cameras caught Sen. Ted Cruz dozing off while Biden addressed immigration reform.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Several Republican lawmakers appeared impassive and even displeased throughout most of President Joe Biden’s first joint address to Congress on Wednesday night.

Freshman firebrand Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado live-tweeted criticism of Biden while he spoke about his administration’s agenda, covering items such as the economy, health care, and the criminal justice system.

“I miss President Trump,” Boebert tweeted shortly into Biden’s address. About halfway through the speech, Boebert pulled out a space blanket and draped it over her lap, according to reporters in the chamber.

“The Biden regime is an existential crisis,” she tweeted toward the end of the night.

When Biden touched on the economy, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio looked visibly troubled and began shaking his head vigorously, PBS NewsHour’s Lisa Desjardins observed.

Cameras in the House chamber showed Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas appearing to struggle to stay awake as Biden discussed immigration reform. Cruz put out a statement summing up his feelings after the speech concluded, calling it “boring, but radical.”

As Biden addressed issues including clean water, job creation, and child poverty, many Republicans, like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, remained stone-faced.

Once Biden wrapped up, McCarthy plainly said: “This whole thing could have just been an email.”

Republicans piled on the attacks on Twitter, labeling Biden’s speech “pathetic,” accusing him of “virtue-signaling,” and calling out Democrats for violating COVID-19 guidelines such as social distancing.

Only around 200 people were allowed in the House chamber for Wednesday’s address, as the event was scaled back due to coronavirus restrictions.

During his speech, Biden highlighted his infrastructure proposal, called on Congress to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and outlined parts of his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, which would invest in child care and education.

Democrats repeatedly rose from their seats and applauded the president as he spoke, while Republicans largely remained seated with their hands in their laps.

However, there were some bipartisan moments of the evening. When Biden briefly acknowledged first lady Jill Biden teaching as a community college professor, she received a standing ovation from Democratic and Republican lawmakers. Boebert was the only person who did not clap, according to the Capitol Hill pool.

Several GOP lawmakers also applauded after Biden encouraged Americans to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina offered the GOP’s response to Biden’s address on Wednesday night.

“Our president seems like a good man. His speech was full of good words,” Scott said. “But three months in, the actions of the president and his party are pulling us further and further apart.”

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Sen. Ted Cruz feuds with Trevor Noah on Twitter: ‘I remember when the Daily Show was funny’

Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, asks a question during the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Tuesday, March 9, 2021.

  • Ted Cruz and Trevor Noah feuded on Twitter on Wednesday, sparked by the new Census figures.
  • Noah lamented that New York was slated to lose a district and took a swipe at Cruz.
  • Cruz responded to Noah by praising the population growth in “low-tax states.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A Twitter feud between GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah erupted on Wednesday, sparked by the comedian’s commentary about New York losing a congressional district following the 2020 census.

On Tuesday, Noah lamented that New York was 89 individuals shy of retaining all of its 27 House seats, while the census results revealed that Texas would gain two House seats.

“This is unbelievable,” Noah said in a video. “You’re telling me that if just 89 more New Yorkers had filled out their census, the state wouldn’t have lost a House seat?”

He added: “Aside from New York getting screwed, the big news out of the census is that America’s population grew at the slowest rate since the 1930s.”

In the video, Noah quickly pivoted to mocking Cruz.

“Basically, immigration is down and the birth rate is falling, primarily due to this photo,” he said, revealing an image of Cruz wearing a baseball hat.

Read more: This millennial GOP congressman voted to impeach Trump. Now he’s trying to save his party from going off a cliff.

He added: “I don’t know exactly what that says, but I do know that the 1930s sucked for America,” where he spoke of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and black-and-white photos.

Cruz responded on Wednesday, criticizing Democratic states and praising “low-tax” states.

“Trevor Noah whines that people are fleeing high-tax blue states & moving in droves to low-tax states like Texas, where the jobs are,” he wrote. “Doesn’t understand why people like freedom. Also predicts the Biden years will be the Great Depression.”

Noah replied to Cruz, referencing the senator’s February trip to Mexico during a severe winter storm that led to a major power crisis in Texas.

“Not sure I’d be using the words ‘fleeing’ and ‘Texas’ in the same sentence, Senator Cancun,” he wrote.

Cruz hit back at Noah, delivering a knock at the comedian’s show.

“I wear your scorn with pride,” he wrote. “I remember when the Daily Show was funny.”

Noah had previously mocked Cruz for his trip to Mexico, poking at the Texas senator for saying he went on the excursion “to be a good dad.”

“Ted Cruz blaming his daughters for this is just gross,” Noah wrote at the time. “Being a good father means putting them on a bus, not throwing them under one.”

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Sen. Ted Cruz accused Rep. Maxine Waters of ‘actively encouraging riots and violence’ after she protested the police killing of Daunte Wright

Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz asks a question during the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on March 9, 2021.

  • Sen. Ted Cruz accused Rep. Maxine Waters of inciting violence at protests against police brutality.
  • Waters rallied against recent police killings of Black men, telling demonstrators to remain in place.
  • “Democrats actively encouraging riots & violence,” Cruz tweeted in response to Waters’ remarks.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sen. Ted Cruz on Sunday suggested that Rep. Maxine Waters was inciting violence by encouraging demonstrators in Minnesota to continue protesting against police brutality.

Waters, a California Democrat, attended on Sunday one of the protests against the police killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright.

The protests have been set against the backdrop of the trial against Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis officer who killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck. The courthouse where the trial takes place is only miles away from where an officer shot and killed Wright last week.

At the protest, Waters said she and the crowd are “looking for a guilty verdict” for Chauvin.

“We’ve got to stay in the streets, and we’ve got to demand justice,” she said, according to a video posted on Twitter from the event.

“I am hopeful that we will get a verdict that says, ‘guilty, guilty, guilty,’ and if we don’t, we cannot go away,” she added. “We’ve got to get more confrontational.”

Cruz, a Republican from Texas, blasted those remarks from Waters.

“Democrats actively encouraging riots & violence,” he tweeted in response, along with a Daily Mail article reporting Waters’ comments.

“They want to tear us apart,” he added.

Wright was fatally shot by Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, officer Kimberly Potter, who had 26 years of experience on the force. The department’s police chief said earlier this week that she intended to shoot Wright with her Taser, not her gun. Potter has since resigned and is facing a second-degree manslaughter charge.

After Wright was killed, protests erupted in the streets of Brooklyn Center and the surrounding Minneapolis area.

Starting from day one of the protests, officials called in the National Guard and imposed a curfew. Protesters have since broken that curfew to demonstrate against police brutality.

At some of these protests, police clashed with demonstrators and fired tear gas and nonlethal rounds to disperse the crowds. Among the protesters who were tear-gassed was Wright’s aunt, Kelly Bryant.

She told Insider she watched people throw garbage at the police.

“I have never seen anything like that in my life. I was tear-gassed,” she said. “It was not a pretty sight. I was watching people loot and break windows, stealing stuff out of stores, burning stuff. It was bad. It was really bad.”

Have a news tip? Reach this reporter at ydzhanova@insider.com

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These are the 6 Republicans who voted against a bipartisan bill on anti-Asian hate crimes

ted cruz resign
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex.

  • The Senate voted Wednesday to move forward a bill that would address the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes.
  • In a rare bipartisan showing, almost all senators voted to advance the bill.
  • Insider reached out to the six Republican senators who voted to block the legislation.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Senate overwhelmingly voted on Wednesday to advance a bill addressing the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Led by Democrats Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Rep. Grace Meng of New York, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act will require federal officers to “facilitate the expedited review” of hate crimes.

“It defines COVID-19 hate crime as a violent crime that is motivated by two things: (1) the actual or perceived characteristic (e.g., race) of any person, and (2) the actual or perceived relationship to the spread of COVID-19 of any person because of that characteristic,” according to the bill’s summary.

In a rare bipartisan effort, a vast majority of senators voted 92-6 to advance the bill – bringing it one step closer to passing.

But the legislation could still face a difficult path forward. Republicans only supported the procedure on the agreement they could add amendments to the bill after it advanced: They added 20.

Hirono told HuffPost reporter Igor Bobic, some of the amendments added, “have absolutely nothing to do with the bill.”

Senate leaders will now have to agree which amendments to consider in order to pass the bill through the Senate, “very, very soon,” Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a floor speech Wednesday.

Here are the six Republicans who voted “no.”

Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas

Tom Cotton
In this May 11, 2017 file photo, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.

A representative from Cotton’s office told Insider that he voted against the bill because “he’s working on related legislation.”

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas

Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, asks a question during the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Tuesday, March 9, 2021.

Representatives from Sen. Cruz’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri

Josh Hawley Ted Cruz

Representatives from Sen. Hawley’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas

roger marshall
Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS) questions Xavier Becerra, U.S. President Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., February 23, 2021.

Representatives from Sen. Marshall’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky).

Representatives from Sen. Paul’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama

Tommy Tuberville
2020 Alabama Republican US Senate nominee Tommy Tuberville

Representatives from Sen. Tuberville’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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Ted Cruz put a signed copy of John Boehner’s book in the fireplace after ‘some smart-a–‘ dropped it off in his office

John Boehner condemns Sen. Ted Cruz on CBS News.
John Boehner condemns Sen. Ted Cruz on CBS News.

  • John Boehner has been skewering Ted Cruz in publicity for his forthcoming memoir.
  • The Texas lawmaker got his revenge after a signed copy of the book was left in his office on Tuesday.
  • He tweeted a photo of Boehner’s memoir in the fireplace; its “appropriate place” according to Cruz.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sen. Ted Cruz apparently didn’t take too kindly to being called a “reckless a–hole” in former Speaker of the House John Boehner’s forthcoming book and the Texas lawmaker made his displeasure public by offering Boehner some sarcastic publicity on Tuesday.

Boehner has been making headlines in recent weeks after an excerpt of his new book, “On the House: A Washington Memoir” was published in Politico earlier this month.

He first skewered Cruz in the released excerpt, calling him a “reckless a–hole who thinks he is smarter than everyone else,” and “a lunatic” who “enlisted the crazy caucus of the GOP.” Then a week later, Boehner doubled down on his Cruz criticism, telling CBS News he singled out Cruz because he had amplified divisions within the Republican House caucus.

To top it all off, Boehner added an unscripted, “PS, Ted Cruz, go f— yourself” in the audiobook recording of the memoir.

But in a Tuesday tweet, Cruz responded to Boehner’s ongoing smears with an incendiary reply.

“Some smart-ass dropped off a copy of Boehner’s new book at my office,” Cruz tweeted. “It’s even signed!”

Accompanying the tweet were three photos: One of Boehner’s book sitting on a table in Cruz’s office; a second of the book’s title page, signed by Boehner himself; and a third of the book propped up in the fireplace – in it’s “appropriate place,” according to Cruz.

Cruz had previously responded to Boehner’s criticism last week, when the Texas lawmaker tweeted he wore Boehner’s “drunken, bloviated scorn” “with pride.”

This isn’t the first time Boehner, who served as speaker from 2011 to 2015, has taken aim at Cruz. Since leaving office, the Ohio Republican has called Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh” and told an audience that he’s “never worked with a more miserable son of a b—- in my life.”

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

Boehner
Former Speaker of the House John Boehner at Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration in 2017.

  • 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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Former GOP House Speaker John Boehner says he doesn’t think Ronald Reagan could get elected in today’s Republican Party

john boehner
Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-OH, speaks following the weekly House Republican Conference meeting as House Majority Leader, Representative Kevin McCarthy,R-CA, looks on at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, October 7, 2015.

  • John Boehner said he doesn’t think he could get elected in today’s GOP, the Washington Post reported.
  • “I don’t think Ronald Reagan could either,” Boehner wrote in his new book.
  • The former House speaker’s tell-all memoir is set to be released Tuesday.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former House Speaker John Boehner wrote in his new memoir that the Republican Party has taken a stark turn since his time in politics, according to an excerpt reported by the Washington Post on Friday.

“I don’t even think I could get elected in today’s Republican Party anyway,” Boehner wrote. “I don’t think Ronald Reagan could either.”

Boehner, who represented Ohio’s 8th Congressional district from 1991 to 2015, is set to release a tell-all memoir of his life on the hill, titled “On the House: A Washington Memoir,” on Tuesday.

Boehner served as the speaker of the House from 2011 until 2015, when he resigned from the role after facing opposition from within the GOP.

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

Excerpts of the book that have been released reveal harsh words for former President Donald Trump, the de facto leader of the party Boehner was once a leader in himself.

About the Capitol riot on January 6, Boehner wrote 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,” according to an excerpt obtained by the New York Times.

Boehner said watching the Capitol siege was “scary, and sad.”

“It should have been a wake-up call for a return to Republican sanity,” he wrote. “Whatever they end up doing, or not doing, none of it will compare to one of the lowest points of American democracy that we lived through in January 2021.”

Boehner also had exceptionally harsh words for Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, another influential figure in today’s GOP.

In an excerpt of the book that was reported by Politico, Boehner wrote: “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.”

Axios reported Boehner also went off-script at one point when recording the audio version of his memoir, adding: “Oh, and Ted Cruz, go f— yourself.”

Have a news tip? Contact this reporter at kvlamis@insider.com.

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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.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

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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