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Trump: Boehner is "very disappointing in terms of his vigor"

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (2nd L) talks with journalists during a rally against the Iran nuclear deal on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol September 9, 2015, in Washington, DC.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (2nd L) talks with journalists during a rally against the Iran nuclear deal on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol September 9, 2015, in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Donald Trump has a new target for the "low energy" brand of insult he's been hurling at rival Jeb Bush: House Speaker John Boehner.

"He's been very disappointing in terms of his vigor and in terms of stopping Obamacare, and certainly in terms of even this," Trump said, referring to the Iran nuclear deal that brought Trump to the Capitol for a Tea Party rally Wednesday.

Trump's barb couldn't come at a worse time for Boehner, who is facing down threats from rebellious Republicans weighing whether to seek his ouster. Rep. Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, backed down from forcing a vote on whether to remove Boehner in July, but GOP lawmakers have warned that Boehner could be in trouble if he doesn't toe a hard conservative line in legislative battles this fall.

Trump, who said he likes Boehner personally, alluded to the Ohio Republican's predicament when asked by a reporter whether he had a preferred candidate in mind for the speaker's job.

"I don't want to say right now," Trump demurred. "But I have a lot of people asking for my support, I will tell you, so obviously there is a movement."

A Boehner spokesman declined to comment on Trump's remarks. But in the past, Trump's had more sympathy for Boehner.

"I think he’s got a very, very tough job, because he’s got factions within his own party that are pretty diametrically opposed to each other," Trump told National Review in June 2013. "But I think he’s got the right temperament, and I think he’s a terrific guy. He’s got to hold things together, and he’s been doing that."

The two men played golf that summer as Trump was thinking about a presidential campaign, and Trump already had donated $100,000 in 2012 to a Super PAC called the Congressional Leadership Fund, which seeks to elect House Republicans and is closely tied to Boehner.

Trump's shown a penchant for belittling fellow Republicans with charges that they don't have sufficient oomph, repeatedly saying that Bush has "low energy" and puts audiences to sleep.