Fox News’ Sean Hannity hit back at former House Speaker John Boehner on Friday after Boehner dropped an excerpt from his forthcoming book that called Hannity “a nut,” among other things.
“John Boehner will go down in history as one of the worst Republican speakers in history,” tweeted the primetime host. “He’s weak, timid and what’s up with all the crying John? There was not a single time I was around him when he didn’t just reek of cigarette smoke and wine breath.”
Hannity went on, acknowledging the impending holiday and promising further response when Easter is over: “I’m glad he’s finally found his true calling in life in the ‘weed industry’. More Monday. Happy Easter all.”
In Friday’s excerpt from “On the House: A Washington Memoir,” which is out April 13, Boehner reflected on how Republican lawmakers came to be hyper-partisan, media-crazed and more interested in controversy than compromise. He attributed it to a “hate” for then-president Barack Obama and the rise of conservative media, calling out Hannity and the late Fox News founder Roger Ailes by name.
“Mark Levin was the first to go on the radio and spout off this crazy [birtherism] nonsense,” he wrote. “It got him ratings, so eventually he dragged [Fox News’ Sean] Hannity and Rush [Limbaugh] to Looneyville along with him. My longtime friend Roger Ailes, the head of Fox News, was not immune to this. He got swept into the conspiracies and the paranoia and became an almost unrecognizable figure.”
Boehner went as far as to say Fox News eventually made his life “a living hell” because of “the crazies [Ailes] was putting on the air” as the American right ramped up its crusade against Obama. He identified Hannity as someone who made his job more difficult, but also pointed to the frequent on-air appearances of his own caucus. Former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, he said, was “[o]ne of the first prototypes out of their laboratory” designed to make “people who used to be fringe characters into powerful media stars.”
Hannity, according to Boehner, empowered Bachmann and other rising conservative stars to make demands that politicians wouldn’t typically make so early in their careers by offering them a platform to insult and intimidate Republican leadership on-air if they didn’t get their way.