May 26, 2017

Al Franken calls Ted Cruz “full of shit” in his new book, Cruz doesn’t appreciate it


In interviews for his new book, Franken has called Ted Cruz “singularly dishonest” and “exceptionally smarmy.” In the book itself, he sticks to “full of shit.”

Senator Al Franken has seen his stature rise in the age of Trump. The former SNL star and author of Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Liar has been at the center of a number of episodes since January that have made headlines. Susan Page at USA Today notes:

It was Franken who posed the question at a confirmation hearing in January for Jeff Sessions, nominated as attorney general, that prompted Sessions to volunteer he had no contact with Russians during the campaign, a statement that turned out to be untrue.

It also was Franken who posed a policy question to Betsy DeVos at her confirmation hearing as Education secretary that became a cause celebre when she didn’t seem to to be aware of a basic debate over how to measure student progress.

And it was Franken, along with New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who was said to be the most aggressive in questioning Rosenstein at a closed briefing for senators last week on the Russia inquiry.

He’s also a much-needed dose of comic relief and, frankly, humanity during what have been some painful Senate hearings. And now, as he prepares for the release of his new book, Giant of the Senate, word is out that he’s dedicated not just a page, not just an anecdote, but an entire chapter, titled “Sophistry,” to his colleague from Texas, Ted Cruz. (Merriam-Webster defines sophistry as “subtly deceptive reasoning or argumentation.”) In the book, according to Page, Franken describes Cruz as “singularly dishonest” and “exceptionally smarmy.” “You have to understand that I like Ted Cruz probably more than my colleagues like Ted Cruz,” Franken said as the interview with Page, “and I hate Ted Cruz.”

A page from the book has been making the rounds on Twitter, an anecdote in which Franken compares Cruz, to his face, to a Carnival cruise (they’re both “full of shit”).

Cruz, following the ironclad rule that you should never get into a battle of wits with a professional comedian, responded simply “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… I wish him all the best.”



Julia Fleischaker is a former director of marketing and publicity at Melville House.