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Ted Cruz fires back at Al Franken after Franken says he 'hates' Cruz

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Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz fires back at Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), who told USA Today that he “hate[s]” his Republican counterpart. Cruz responded, "... apparently he’s decided that being obnoxious and insulting me is good for causing liberals to buy his books.” (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz slammed “obnoxious” Sen. Al Franken Wednesday after the Minnesota Democrat said he “hate[s]” him.

Cruz said Franken, who broadcast his disdain for the Republican lawmaker during an interview with USA Today, is dedicating an entire chapter of his forthcoming book — “Al Franken: Giant of the Senate” — to him solely in an effort to boost sales. The anti-Cruz chapter is titled “Sophistry.”

“Al is trying to sell books and apparently he’s decided that being obnoxious and insulting me is good for causing liberals to buy his books,” Cruz told Politico.

Cruz’s comments were in response to Franken telling USA Today’s Susan Page he likes Cruz “probably more than my colleagues like Ted Cruz.” But, Franken panned: “I hate Ted Cruz.”

He went on to describe Cruz as “singularly dishonest” and “extremely smarmy.”

And in an excerpt of Franken’s upcoming book being circulated by the Austin American-Statesman’s Jonathan Tilove, the liberal lawmaker recounts an exchange with fellow Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D), during which he jokes Cruz is “full of s***,” like a Carnival cruise.

Franken said he doesn’t have any qualms about breaking protocol and sharing details from private conversations with Cruz because, in his view, the one-time presidential hopeful did just that in 2015, when he called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) a liar on the Senate floor.

“Because Ted broke that protocol, and called Mitch McConnell a liar on the floor, I felt like, ‘Well, OK, I can [break protocol],’” Franken told Page.

When asked about Franken’s reasoning, Cruz just laughed it off before adding: “Said what I’m going to say.”

Franken's book comes out May 30.

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