Former House Speaker John Boehner made quick work of Meghan McCain on The View Monday morning. He faced a somewhat more formidable interviewer in Stephen Colbert later that night.
Boehner, whose new book On the House: A Washington Memoir Colbert described as “juicy” and “candid,” promised to be just as revealing during his Late Show appearance. Over bourbon and Cabernet, Boehner ranted about the various “jackasses” he had to deal with during his time as the “mayor of Crazytown” in politics. He also eagerly repeated his new moniker for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), “Lucifer in the flesh.”
But when Colbert pressed him to explain how his party went so far off the deep end, Boehner attempted to “both sides” Democrats and Republicans. He blamed the “right-wing media” that “wanted more noise,” but then said, “The problem is not just on the far right, it’s on the far left as well.”
“I think the Republicans have gotten better at having a media arm that helps inflate their worst instincts than the Democrats do, but if both sides do that how come Nancy Pelosi can corral her crazies and you can’t corral yours?”
Boehner admitted that Pelosi has “done a better job” of holding the Democrats together than the Republican leaders have, but then tried to say it was because Republicans are more “independent-minded” than Democrats.
“Wait a second, I don’t think that’s true!” Colbert shot back.
From there, the host tried to get Boehner to admit that Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 insurrection essentially made him a “political terrorist,” but he resisted the label. Then, acknowledging that he voted for Trump in 2020, Boehner claimed he suddenly felt “abused” when the former president refused to concede and claimed the election was stolen.
By the time they got to the “speed round,” in which Colbert asked for instant reactions to the most powerful politicians of the past two decades or so, Boehner was mostly generous. He called Mike Pence a “really good guy, solid Christian,” would only say that Trump was a “little crazy,” and nicknamed Mitch McConnell “Stealth Vader.”
Colbert pushed to explain what happened to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), but Boehner merely called him “one of the funniest people you’ll ever meet in your life.”
“Like funny haha or like funny what the fuck is wrong with that guy?” the host asked in response.
Boehner maintained that Graham is legitimately funny and also a “pretty good dancer” on the issues.
When it came to Cruz, however, he couldn’t hold back. “Lucifer in the flesh,” he said one more time with a smile, before adding, “The most miserable son of a bitch I ever had to deal with.”