John Boehner backs Donald Trump, thanks God Cruz didn't win

Story highlights

  • Former House Speaker John Boehner spoke about Donald Trump at a conference in Las Vegas on Thursday
  • "Donald Trump is the nominee, whether people like it or not," Boehner said of the presumptive GOP nominee

Las Vegas (CNN)John Boehner supports Donald Trump -- just not any of his policies.

"Donald Trump is the nominee, whether people like it or not," the former House speaker, during a question-and-answer session at a hedge fund conference in Las Vegas, told attendees Thursday. Boehner, an Ohio Republican, made clear he would support the nominee.
    But that doesn¹t mean Boehner supports what Trump is pitching on the campaign trail. Asked, rapid fire, whether he supported Trump's proposed temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S., his proposal to build a wall on the border of Mexico and the New York billionaire¹s plan to aggressively use tariffs to attack foreign trade competitors, Boehner repeatedly answered with one word: "No."
    He also said Trump¹s foreign policy stance, laid out in a speech two weeks ago, didn't align with his views. Still, Boehner said, "Anybody who doesn't think Donald Trump can win, just watch."
    Boehner¹s comments come two weeks after saying, during a question-and-answer session at Stanford University, that he and Trump were "texting buddies." It was at that same event that he called then-GOP presidential candidate and regular Boehner tormenter Ted Cruz, the Texas senator, "Lucifer in the flesh."
    Cruz has since suspended his campaign, clearing the way for Trump to secure the title of "presumptive nominee" for the party. Boehner, in an unsolicited comment, couldn't hide his feelings on that front.
    "Thank God the guy from Texas didn't win," he said.
    As all eyes in Washington were on Trump¹s meetings with top GOP lawmakers, Boehner weighed in on the decision by his replacement as speaker -- the lawmaker Boehner pushed, lobbied and cajoled to take the job, Paul Ryan -- not to immediately endorse Trump.
    "I think Paul was just being cautious," Boehner said, adding that he "doesn't have any doubt" things will "get smoothed over."
    He also made clear he had no regrets about his decision to leave Congress.
    "Every day I read the news, I¹m reminded of how happy I am that I¹m not in the chaos," Boehner said with a chuckle.