Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken really doesn’t like fellow lawmaker Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), so naturally, Franken dedicated an entire chapter of his new book to the conservative politician.
“You have to understand that I like Ted Cruz probably more than my colleagues like Ted Cruz,” Franken told USA Today while promoting his new book, “Al Franken: Giant of the Senate.” “But I hate Ted Cruz.”
Franken described Cruz as “just a special guy.” In the book, according to the USA Today report, Franken dedicated an entire chapter — titled “Sophistry” — to the Texas lawmaker. In it, Franken calls Cruz “singularly dishonest” and “extremely smarmy.”
Despite the mean-spirited digs at Cruz, Franken told USA Today’s Susan Page that he was “fair” to the Republican politician.
“[Cruz] is sort of the exception to the rule in the book, which is, I — there’s protocol in the Senate of not writing about like a conversation you’ve had with someone and reporting it in private, like on the floor or something, where it would make them look bad,” Franken said.
But the Minnesota Democrat said he felt comfortable bypassing that rule for Cruz because, in 2015, the one-time presidential contender broke protocol himself.
Nearly two years ago, Cruz called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) a liar on the floor of the Senate.
“What we just saw today was an absolute demonstration that not only what he told every Republican senator, but what he told the press over and over and over again, was a simple lie,” Cruz said of McConnell.
Cruz’s brash statement came after McConnell set up a vote to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank of the United States, which the conservative wing of the GOP opposed and Democrats supported, offering no opportunity for other lawmakers to present amendments. Cruz claimed McConnell had told him during a private Senate luncheon that he would have the opportunity to present amendments and assured him no deal had been struck with the Democrats.
“Because Ted broke that protocol, and called Mitch McConnell a liar on the floor, I felt like, ‘Well, OK, I can [break protocol],’” Franken said.
The book comes out May 30.