John Boehner says Ted Cruz is 'Lucifer in the flesh,' Cruz fires back

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on campaign 2016 (all times Eastern):

12:20 p.m.

Ted Cruz says John Boehner let his “inner Trump come out” when the former House speaker described Cruz as “Lucifer in the flesh.”

Cruz is campaigning ahead of Indiana’s Republican presidential primary on Tuesday and he took issue with Boehner’s barb.

Boehner told a Stanford University audience this week that he has “never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life” than Cruz — who’s a Texas senator.

The comments were reported by Stanford’s student newspaper.

Cruz says he never actually worked with Boehner. And the White House candidate says he’d be surprised if the two politicians ever exchanged more than 50 words.

Cruz has this message for voters: “When John Boehner calls me Lucifer, he’s not directing that at me. He’s directing that at you.”

10:50 a.m.

Former House Speaker John Boehner is unloading on Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, calling him “Lucifer in the flesh.”

“I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life,” Boehner tells students at Stanford University according to The Stanford Daily.

The Ohio Republican resigned last fall under pressure from conservatives allied with Cruz. Boehner’s well-known contempt for the Texan stems in part from Cruz’s role forcing a partial government shutdown in 2013. Boehner said he and Donald Trump are “texting buddies” and he would vote for Trump, but not Cruz.

Of Ohio Gov. John Kasich Boehner said he “requires more effort on my behalf than all my other friends . but he’s still my friend, and I love him.”

8:00 a.m.

Carly Fiorina is explaining the rules of the Republican Party to rival Donald Trump as she looks to assert why the race for the Republican nomination could go to a contested convention.

In an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Thursday, a day after Ted Cruz named her as his running mate, Fiorina said Trump will get “shellacked by Hillary Clinton” if he is the nominee for the Republican Party, but asserted that he could lose the nomination if he doesn’t get the majority.

“Donald Trump just figured it out, but wow, this system has been in place for a very long time,” she said, referring to his claims that he should be named the nominee even if he falls slightly short of the required 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination.

“I think what we need in November is a very clear choice,” she said.

7:45 a.m.

Bernie Sanders’ wife and adviser Jane Sanders says his campaign will do well in the remaining contests because they are open primaries, which she describes as “more democratic.”

In an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Thursday, Jane Sanders noted that Bernie Sanders won Rhode Island on Tuesday, which was an open primary, allowing independents as well as Democrats to vote for her husband.

“If you close the primary and you only have people who have been in the Democratic Party for years, what you are doing is effectively shutting the door on the millions of people that Bernie has brought in to the political process during this election,” she said.

She also said that his campaign intends to continue through the final contest in California, despite a revelation Wednesday that the campaign plans to lay off hundreds of field staffers and other aides.

3:00 a.m.

An astonishing Republican presidential primary season has taken another unusual turn.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has picked Carly Fiorina as his running mate — even though he’s mathematically unable to become the GOP nominee through the regular voting process.

It’s the move of a candidate desperate to block front-runner Donald Trump, who is growing only stronger as the primary contest presses deeper into the spring.

Trump now has 80 percent of the delegates he needs for the Republican nomination, though he could still fall short and have to battle Cruz at a contested convention. Trump must win 48 percent of the remaining delegates to avoid that scenario.

Cruz’s White House hopes now rest largely on Tuesday’s primary in Indiana. That’s where he announced Wednesday that he is tapping Fiorina as his vice presidential pick.

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