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Cruz is 'Lucifer in the flesh', says Boehner



Former US House speaker John Boehner, who stepped down last year, let fly with a stunning critique of fellow Republican and 2016 presidential hopeful Ted Cruz, labelling him the devil incarnate.

"Lucifer in the flesh" is how the ever-blunt Republican heavyweight described the Texas senator, who is struggling to block billionaire Donald Trump's march to the Republican presidential nomination, according to the Stanford Daily newspaper.

"I have Democrat friends and Republican friends," Boehner said."I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life." Boehner's remarks were made at a public talk late on Wednesday at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

Asked about the comments on Thursday while campaigning in Indiana, Cruz sniffed:"He allowed his inner Trump to come out."

Cruz is widely seen as one of the more intransigent members of Congress, and critics on both sides of the aisle blame him for triggering a 16-day federal government shutdown in late 2013.

"When John Boehner calls me Lucifer, he's not directing that at me. He's directing that at you," he said, alluding to his conservative supporters.

"What Boehner is angry with me for is standing with the American people, is energising and encouraging House conservatives to stand with the American people and actually honour the commitments we have made," he said.

During his tenure as the top lawmaker in Congress, Boehner rarely held back when frustrated or dissatisfied -- especially with the gridlock in Washington.

But even by his standards, the Ohioan's unvarnished appraisal of a fellow Republican lawmaker who is running for the nation's highest office was startling.


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