Outside Washington circles, former House speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is probably best known for two things: his tan and his propensity for blunt (and sometimes semi-vulgar) put-downs.
Boehner has never bothered to put a filter on when talking about people he doesn't like — reporters, Sen. Ted Cruz, President Obama, House conservatives . . . Ted Cruz. And it might be just us, but it feels like his insults are even sharper and more offensive now that he's out of public office.
At a town hall Wednesday at Stanford University, Boehner called Cruz "Lucifer in the flesh" — and then went there.
"I've never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life," he added. Boehner even suggested he would vote for Donald Trump, but not Cruz.
It's not the first time this spring Boehner's talked about Cruz like this; Boehner pulled out the "Lucifer" line to describe Cruz in March to reporters, too. But we decided to take this occasion to debut a definitive ranking of the top 10 Boehner put-downs, ranked from kind of funny to Did he really just say that?
2. "You know at the gift shops here, they've got these little booklets about how a bill becomes a law. I'll get that little booklet out of the gift shop, and you can all read it." — Boehner to a group of reporters at a 2015 press conference
3. "I don't think he's got the guts to do it." — Boehner to reporters in 2013, talking about Obama's willingness to cut spending during the "fiscal cliff" debate. (In that same interview, he modified his comment to say the president "doesn't have the courage" to cut spending.)
4. "It's not like we haven't seen over the last five or six months these terrorists moving in, taking control of western Iraq. ... And what's the president doing? Taking a nap!" — Boehnerto reporters in 2014
7. "The Bible says beware of false prophets. And there are people out there, you know, spreading noise about how much can get done." — Boehner to CBS's "Face the Nation" in 2015 about House conservatives' tactics
8. He's a "jackass" — Boehner on Cruz at a Colorado fundraiser in 2015. (Cruz responded that voters aren't "remotely interested" in politicians "bickering like schoolyard children.")