On Thursday, former Speaker of the House John Boehner kept the political landscape classy by smearing his fellow Republican Ted Cruz and calling him “Lucipher.” Boehner, who was forced to resign from his prestigious position after bending to the will of Democrats on innumerable occasions, likely did not mean to boost Cruz’s cred, but in reality, the insult coming from the most establishment politician in Washington can do nothing but help the 2016 presidential candidate who has consistently fought the false narrative that he is an “establishment” candidate.
As if Boehner’s shameful mudslinging wasn’t undignified enough, the White House promptly followed suit and joined Boehner in slamming Cruz, a senator who has consistently served as a thorn in the side of the “Washington Cartel” of power.
“I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone,” Boehner said regarding Cruz. “But I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.” Boehner also called Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh” and bragged that he and Donald Trump were golfing buddies and “texting buddies.”
When asked about Boehner’s undignified comments, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest supported Boehner’s smear and claimed that he was just being honest.
“I don’t know that he was trying to be helpful or harmful,” Earnest said. “I think he was just looking to be honest about his own view.”
When asked if he thought that the comments were appropriate, Earnest dove into partisan politics and remarked, “I think if you’re looking for somebody to come to the defense of one Republican being attacked by another, you should probably ask someone else.”
Boehner’s comments are far below the dignity of the office he once held. It’s far below the dignity of a sitting congressman.
Further, Boehner’s comments are pathetic. He is a disgraced former speaker ousted from his position for poor job performance, Cruz is a freshman senator who has emerged as the leading voice of constitutional conservatism in America and is mounting a competitive bid for the presidency.
Boehner’s comments illustrate what Cruz has been saying all along: he’s reviled by the entrenched elite who abhor principled lawmakers.
That the White House would dignify this mudslinging with a response of any kind of far beneath the dignity of the Oval Office. We shouldn’t expect the Obama Administration to celebrate Ted Cruz, but we should be able to expect that a presidential administration to possess a shred of dignity.