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Nate Jackson / April 29, 2016

Who’s the Establishment Candidate?

Boehner calls Cruz “Lucifer,” says he’d vote for Trump.

Anyone who wants to stop Donald Trump is just carrying water for the establishment. At least that’s what we’re told. But there’s a big problem with that narrative: The establishment is lining up behind Trump because party elites hate Ted Cruz.

How much do they hate him? Cruz is “Lucifer in the flesh,” according to former House Speaker John Boehner. “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 b— in my life.”

On the other hand, Boehner calls Trump his “texting buddy” and promised to vote for him (fishing for a VP slot on the ticket).

Ironically, arguably no one has done more to drive voters toward Trump than Boehner.

Rep. Peter King went one step further, saying that he agreed with Boehner, though “maybe it gives Lucifer a bad name by comparing him to Ted Cruz.”

Those might be the best two endorsements Cruz could ever ask for. On the other hand, and unfortunately for Cruz, this sort of lashing out can only be expected for a guy who’s made a career of actually opposing the establishment. While Trump was busy giving money to Clinton, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, and Boehner was cutting backroom deals with them, Cruz was shutting the government down and calling Mitch McConnell a liar on the Senate floor. That, far more than campaign donations from a deal-making billionaire, will anger the establishment, and it’s why party poohbahs haven’t rallied to push Cruz ahead of Trump. They can handle an erratic dealmaker who by all accounts is actually likeable. They can’t handle a prickly but principled conservative.

Exit question to Cruz from Fox News’ Megyn Kelly: “How could you possibly unite this party coming out of a contested convention?” At this point, how could anyone unite this party? Gen. James Mattis, call your office…

Worth noting, Boehner also offered this prediction, which Mark Alexander first noted two years ago: “Don’t be shocked if two weeks before the convention, here comes Joe Biden parachuting in and Barack Obama fanning the flames to make it all happen.” Maybe Boehner is a better fit in the VP slot on Biden’s ticket.

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