Politics aside, not many people like Ted Cruz, and he hasn’t exactly retreated to a quiet senatorial existence following his presidential bid. Instead, he’s still challenging everyone and recently made a fool out of himself while trying to argue constitutional law with Sally Yates, which resulted in much mockery at how Cruz tries to make himself seem like the “smartest person in the room.” Meanwhile, one rather beloved senator, Al Franken, was preparing to plug his upcoming memoir, A Giant in the Senate. According to a USA Today interview with journalist Susan Page, Franken actually set aside a full chapter to discuss his distaste for the junior Texas senator:
While the book provides a glimpse at some surprising friendships among senators across ideological lines, there are no kind words in it for Ted Cruz. The Texas senator gets an entire chapter of his own, titled “Sophistry,” that describes him as “singularly dishonest” and “exceptionally smarmy.” (Cruz’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.)
“You have to understand that I like Ted Cruz probably more than my colleagues like Ted Cruz,” Franken said in the interview, “and I hate Ted Cruz.”
In addition, EW.com reports that Franken explained (at NYC’s Vulture Festival) his decision to trash Cruz. Franken says he has a general rule of not repeating private conversations with people if “it makes them look bad.” However, he “made an exception” for Cruz because he feels that strongly about the guy.
And oh boy, tidbits are starting to fly from this chapter. On Twitter, the Austin American-Statesman‘s Jonathan Tilove revealed one of the book’s pages, which revolves around a joke about Cruz (for D.C.’s annual Gridiron dinner) by Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). Klobuchar had softened the joke when she and Franken told Cruz about it, at which point, Cruz gave them a “patronizing” lecture about the First Amendment. So, Franken rewrote the joke in his head, and this happened:
“Say, Ted.” I smiled. “I did a rewrite of Amy’s joke, and I think it’s a lot better. Want to hear it?”
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Amy having two successive thoughts:
1. “Oh no — Al’s not going to do this!”
2. “But I definitely want to be here if he does.”
Ted was still smiling. “Sure!”
“Okay. Here it is: ‘When most people think of a cruise that’s full of sh*t, they think of Carnival. But we think of Ted.”
And there went Ted’s smile. For once, he had no words.
I nodded, turned around, and walked away.
You can read the full page below. The book sounds like a lot of fun.