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The Senate has a long history of bashing Ted Cruz, one of its own

Al Franken is the latest senator to go after Ted Cruz (Video: Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post, Photo: Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) hasn't always been the most popular member of the Senate.

His brash style and the way he comported himself in his early days in the Senate earned him public rebukes not just from his Democratic opponents, but also from some of his Republican colleagues.

“If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you,” Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said during the 2016 Republican primaries. Sure, Graham was a Jeb Bush guy, but Cruz was still a candidate in his own party.

And Graham wasn't the only one. Sen. John McCain once called Cruz a “wacko bird” on the Senate floor. John A. Boehner, then the Republican speaker of the House, called Cruz a “jackass” at a Colorado fundraising event in 2015.

But things seemed to thaw in the early days of 2017. Even Graham, who had joked about Cruz's murder, made the television rounds with him, doing surprisingly jovial interviews on MSNBC and “Fox & Friends.”

But if Cruz's Republican colleagues have warmed to him, his Democratic opponents have not. And leading that charge is Sen. Al Franken, who discusses Cruz in his new book, and has been appearing on cable news networks savaging the Texas conservative in recent weeks.

“He’s kind of a toxic guy in an office, the guy who microwaves fish,” Franken said on CNN on May 30.

The anger between the two senators first seemed to boil over during Attorney General Jeff Sessions's Senate confirmation hearing. Cruz's Texas colleague, Sen. John Cornyn, took exception to the fact that Franken was discussing Cruz while Cruz wasn't in the room to defend himself, saying Franken was breaking Senate decorum rules.

Senators have heated exchange during Sessions hearing (Video: Reuters)

In the video at the top of this post, we've collected the most surprising insults senators have hurled at Cruz. Franken certainly isn't the first — and if he keeps it up, we may have to update the video soon.