Ex-House Speaker John Boehner, recording memoir's audio, gives Ted Cruz some colorful advice

William Cummings, USA TODAY
·3 min read

Aided by a glass of red wine, former House Speaker John Boehner added some colorful comments while recording the audio version of his upcoming memoir, including some choice words for Sen. Ted Cruz.

On Thursday, Boehner tweeted a photo of himself at a microphone with wine in hand as he read from his book, "On the House: A Washington Memoir," which is slated to publish on April 13.

"Poured myself a glass of something nice to read my audiobook," Boehner said in the post. "You can blame the wine for the expletives."

Among the remarks the ex-Ohio congressman added, which were not in the original manuscript, was a profanity directed at Texas' junior senator.

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"Oh, and Ted Cruz, go f--- yourself," Boehner says to his fellow Republican. The aside, which was first reported by Axios, was confirmed to USA TODAY by Joseph Rinaldi, a spokesman for Boehner's publisher, St. Martin's Publishing Group.

The "On the House" cover shows Boehner holding a glass of red wine beside a table where a cigarette sits in an ashtray. The blurb promoting the book says Boehner shares "the advice – some harsh, some fatherly – he dished out to members of his own party, the opposition, the media, and others" and offers "often acid-tongued comments about his former colleagues."

"There were, during the recording session, some off-script moments," Rinaldi said in an email. He said it was not yet clear if the quote would be included in the final version of the audiobook.

Boehner spokesman David Schnittger told Axios, "He pretty much just let it fly, as he did when he was working on the book itself. He’s not really interested in being anything other than himself these days. That is kind of the spirit of the entire project."

Cruz addressed Boehner's remark during his speech Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, by implying the former speaker was no longer relevant.

More: Ted Cruz jokes: Orlando isn't as nice as Cancun, but it's nice enough

"You know, yesterday, John Boehner made some news. He suggested that I do something that was anatomically impossible. To which my response was, 'Who's John Boehner?'" Cruz said.

Though he was long known for speaking bluntly compared to many other members of Congress, Boehner became even freer about speaking his mind after leaving Washington. Boehner has derided his former colleagues as "knuckleheads"; called President Donald Trump's political strategy a "disaster" – though he later said Trump "by and large, has done the right things"; declared, "There is no Republican Party. There's a Trump party," and dropped his long opposition to marijuana use to join the board of a cannabis company.

And his comment during the recording of his audiobook was not the first time he has directed a disparaging comment at Cruz.

During a 2016 appearance at Stanford University, Boehner said he considered Cruz to be "Lucifer in the flesh."

"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," Boehner said of Cruz.

Responding to those comments, Cruz said he had hardly ever spoken to Boehner.

"I've never worked with John Boehner," Cruz said at the time. "Truth of the matter is, I don't know the man."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: John Boehner records audiobook, adding vulgar advice for Ted Cruz