A top Ted Cruz supporter says former House Speaker John Boehner’s characterization of Cruz as “Lucifer in the flesh” is a “badge of honor” for the campaign, as he denounced Boehner, touted Carly Fiorina and vowed the race for the GOP nomination is far from over.
Largely absent from public since stepping down as speaker last October, Boehner slammed Cruz during an appearance Wednesday at Stanford University. When asked to offer thoughts on Cruz, Boehner considered the Texas senator “Lucifer in the flesh.” But he wasn’t done.
“I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life,” said Boehner, according to the Stanford Daily.
At a campaign stop in Indiana, Cruz said Boehner seemed to be “channeling his inner Trump.”
Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a top Cruz surrogate, was even more blunt.
“John Boehner has been part of the problem for a long time. When he opposes somebody because they fight him at every turn, that person who is fighting him is well worthy of every American’s consideration. In this case, that happens to be Ted Cruz. That’s a badge of honor for us,” said Cuccinelli.
Cuccinelli says Boehner deserves a good share of the blame for the nation’s current condition.
“The people that John Boehner is happy to see move forward are exactly the people that are miring America in debt and less freedom and dragging us down into nothing much more than another European-like welfare state,” said Cuccinelli.
The Stanford Daily reported Boehner as saying he had a high-maintenance relationship with John Kasich but loves him nonetheless. Boehner also revealed he was “texting buddies” with Donald Trump. The former speaker said he would back Trump as the nominee but would not vote for Cruz.
Cuccinelli is not surprised.
“He and people like him in Washington would be perfectly happy to work with Donald Trump. ‘Hey, let’s just make more deals.’ Doesn’t matter what the basis of the deal is. Doesn’t matter that the American people get the short end of the stick, that our children have more debt and less freedom or that we’re less secure. But all the power people will continue to be happy. God forbid, we wouldn’t want to make John Boehner cry,” said Cuccinelli.
The Boehner comments came just hours after Cruz, who trails Trump by more than 400 delegates, announced former GOP rival Carly Fiorina as his running mate if Cruz is able to beat out Trump at a contested convention. Cuccinelli says Fiorina is a nightmare for Democrats and Hillary Clinton in paritcular.
“She has been one of the best and most articulate messengers against the Democrats during this whole presidential race. I think she’s proven over the past two months while she’s been campaigning on Senator Cruz’s behalf what a real asset she is to the team,” said Cuccinelli.
Cuccinelli says Fiorina was chosen by Cruz on the merits and that Cruz thinks she could be a fine president if necessary. However, Cuccinelli admits Trump’s huge unfavorable numbers with women also played a factor.
Cruz scored a big win over Trump in Wisconsin April 5, but Trump has dominated the past six contests, easily winning a majority in all of the eastern states, in some cases eclipsing 60 percent of the vote and hauling many more delegates than expected.
Next up is Indiana on May 3. Cuccinelli says it is not a must win, but the campaign is expecting a very strong showing.
“We’d like to see a performance like Wisconsin. We’re working for that. Carly is helping us do that on the ticket. We have high hopes for Indiana. Ted has been very warmly received there. We think that’s going to turn out very well for us,” said Cuccinelli.
He is also rejecting the media narrative that Trump’s domination over the past two weeks essentially wraps up the nomination for the front-runner.
“The media have signed Ted Cruz’s death certificate on more than one occasion. So this is just one more added to the heap. It doesn’t really matter what network you’re talking about. Fox does this just as badly and horrifically and inaccurately as anyone else,” said Cuccinelli.
He says the press want to declare Trump the nominee because he is ratings gold.
“The media would love to see Donald Trump for six months. He’s an entertainer. He wouldn’t be much of a president. But let’s face it, from a media perspective, they’d love to have him for six months for just pure entertainment value and ratings,” said Cuccinelli.
Cuccinelli is also swinging back against the Trump narrative, which many in the media have joined after the past two weeks, that even if Trump fails to clinch a majority of pledged delegates, the party will have no choice but to nominate him if he’s anywhere close to the magic number of 1,237.
“These are the same people who think you should give a trophy to every kid who plays. This kind of whining, let’s roll over and not compete attitude is gutting America and Donald Trump fits very nicely in there. All talk, no action,” said Cuccinelli.
He says the campaign itself proves Trump doesn’t have what it takes to be a good president.
“We’re killing him on the ground,” said Cuccinelli. “When it comes to the actual mechanics of running a campaign, he doesn’t know what he’s doing. I don’t know why anybody thinks someone who can’t get through that process competently can be president of the United States competently,” said Cuccinelli.
Cuccinelli says if Trump has 1,237 delegates or more come convention time, the nomination is all his. But if Trump has 1,236 or fewer, delegates, Cruz plans to fight it out in Cleveland.