Feb 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Boehner goes off script, tells Cruz to "go f**k yourself"

Then-House Minority Leader John Boehner is seen smoking a cigarette after an event in 2010.
John Boehner in 2010. Photo: Tom Williams/Roll Call Photos

John Boehner has been going off script while recording the audio version of his new memoir, using expletives and asides not in the book — such as the former Republican House speaker saying, “Oh, and Ted Cruz, go f**k yourself."

Why it matters: The book is appropriately titled, “On the House: A Washington Memoir." It promises to share “colorful tales from the halls of power, the smoke-filled rooms around the halls of power and his fabled tour bus.” Two sources familiar with the tapings told Axios about the asides.

  • The audio version, which includes an even heftier price tag of $39.99, will be sprinkled with Boehner's unfiltered, baritone, inner monologue.
  • Similar to the cover — where he’s pictured in a dark room, drinking red wine with a cigarette burning in an ashtray — Boehner has been taping his audiobook with a glass of wine in hand.
  • The Ohioan never hid his penchant for tan skin and red wine, or his love of cigarettes (two packs a day).

Boehner, 71, was one of 12 children and worked in his family's suburban Cincinnati bar as a child. He went into plastics sales after college before turning to politics. He served as a state representative from 1985 to 1990, before being elected to the House.

  • Boehner was between Nancy Pelosi and Paul Ryan as speaker, and was famous for wearing his emotions on his sleeve — and not being too proud to cry.
  • Cruz (R-Texas) has been a longtime target. During one of his first appearances after leaving the House in October 2015, Boehner branded the Texas senator "Lucifer in the flesh."

What they're saying: “I can confirm there were some off-script moments during his recording of the audiobook," Boehner spokesman David Schnittger said. "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.”

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