Ted Cruz responded to John Boehner calling him a “jackass” Monday, saying it was a “profanity-laden assault” and that he would not engage in that sort of thing.
Cruz, appearing on the Hugh Hewitt Show, said, “The speaker is entitled to express whatever views he likes, but I’m not going to respond in kind.”
Hugh Hewitt: Well, I don’t understand it, and I’d like to expand and not limit it to the speaker. But what in the world is the upside of any Republican slagging another Republican, especially when the other Republican is running for president and might be our nominee?
Ted Cruz: Well, look, unfortunately, I think an awful lot of folks in politics, they get personal and they engage in insults and ad hominem attacks. And there’s far too much of that that goes on. And my approach consistently is that I don’t reciprocate. The speaker is entitled to express whatever views he likes, but I’m not going to respond in kind. And I think the American people are not remotely interested in a bunch of politicians in Washington bickering like schoolyard children. I think what they’re looking for is serious leaders who will address and provide real solutions to the very real problems we’re facing right now.
Hewitt: Now when I was defending you to some friends this weekend, I was out climbing a fourteener in Colorado, and I was saying, ‘Ted Cruz did not deserve this,’ and they said ‘Well, he attacked McConnell pretty badly,’ and I said ‘Read what he said. It wasn’t a personal attack.’ Am I correct in making that distinction?
Cruz: That is exactly right. There is a difference between describing the facts and describing someone’s actions, and what occurred, and engaging in a personal attack. I gave, a couple of months ago, an unusual floor speech to be sure. But I stood up and I said ‘Here are the commitments that the majority leader gave to me, personally, to every Republican senator, and to the American people. And his conduct today is directly contrary to those commitments that he made,’ and that is quite different from engaging in the kind of personal attack and insults and profanity-laden assault that so many others engage in.