Former House Speaker John Boehner made headlines when he called Sen. Ted Cruz “Lucifer in the Flesh” and said that he had “never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”
Boehner also said he would not vote for Cruz if he were the GOP presidential nominee. Republican problems with Cruz is nothing new. And it’s not the first time there has been intra-party shade throwing.
Here are some the best:
Hamilton body slams Adams
In-the-family political feuds are as old as the Republic itself as evidenced by Alexander Hamilton’s attempts to undercut Federalist Party colleague John Adams in two presidential elections.
In 1796, Hamilton waged a quiet, but unsuccessful campaign to thwart Adams, favoring Charles Pinckney, a diplomat who served under George Washington. Four years later, Hamilton again favored Pinckney and his opposition to Adams, who was running for re-election, was visceral. He published a letter criticizing the president’s character and labeling him unfit for office. Hamilton accused Adams of having “a vanity without bounds, and a jealousy capable of discoloring every object.” Adams lost.
Truman disses JFK When John F. Kennedy ran for the Democratic nomination, former President Harry Truman had reservations about the the young senator from Massachusetts.
Saying he had no personal issue with Kennedy, the former president still asked him whether he was “certain that you are quite ready for the country, or that the country is ready for you in the role of president?”
Truman, a Democrat like Kennedy, said given the tense world situation, “I hope that someone with the greatest possible maturity and experience would be available at this time.”
He urged patience, but Kennedy said he did “not intend to step aside at anyone’s request.”
Kennedy also said the convention would be open and that from his experience, “Mr. Truman regards an open convention as one which studies all the candidates, reviews their records and then takes his advice.”
Truman resigned as a delegate to the 1960 convention. Kennedy won.
Rocky goes after Goldwater At the 1964 Republican National Convention, New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, a moderate Republican who was a contender for the GOP nomination, gave a forceful critique of what he saw as the far-right forces that were sweeping Barry Goldwater.
“These extremists feed on fear, hate and terror, [they have] no program for America and the Republican Party,” he said. “It is essential that this convention repudiate here and now any doctrinaire, militant minority whether Communist, Ku Klux Klan or Birchers.”
Goldwater was nominated but lost the general election in a landslide to incumbent Lyndon Johnson.
Ike hangs Nixon out to dry
There is a long history in American politics of frosty or empty relationships between presidents and their vice presidents. But it’s common that when No. 1 is heading out the door, he’ll give a shout-out if his veep is looking to succeed him.
Richard Nixon served as Dwight Eisenhower’s vice president for eight years throughout the 1950s. So when Nixon went for the brass ring against JFK, Ike was given an easy opportunity to credit his fellow Republican.
Eisenhower was asked during a news conference what proposals of Nixon’s he had adopted. His response was astonishing.
“If you give me a week, I might think of one,” Eisenhower said. “I don’t remember.”