Al Franken struggles to explain net neutrality to Ted Cruz: You are ‘completely wrong’
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) struggled on Sunday to explain to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) why he had been wrong to assert that net neutrality was “Obamacare for the Internet,” and that it would stifle innovation.
In an op-ed for The Washington Post last week, Cruz opposed President Barack Obama’s plan to treat the Internet as a public utility.
“In short, net neutrality is Obamacare for the Internet,” Cruz wrote. “It would put the government in charge of determining Internet pricing, terms of service and what types of products and services can be delivered, leading to fewer choices, fewer opportunities and higher prices.”
“Some in the online community have embraced this call, thinking that cheaper prices would result. But when has that worked? Government-regulated utilities invariably destroy innovation and freedom. Which is more innovative, the U.S. Postal Service or Facebook and Twitter? Which is better for consumers, city taxi commissions or Uber and Lyft?”
But Franken told CNN’s Candy Crowley that Cruz had the concept of net neutrality “completely wrong.”
“CNN’s website, [and] a blogger in Duluth, Minnesota travels at the same speed… The New York Times, their website travels the same speed,” Franken pointed out. “That’s the way that it’s been from the beginning. And we want to keep it that way.”
“He has it completely wrong, he just doesn’t understand what this issue is,” the Minnesota Democrat said of Cruz. “We’ve had net neutrality the entire history of the Internet.”
Franken observed that “Obamacare was government program that fixed something, that changed things. This is about reclassifying something so it stays the same. This would keep things exactly the same as they’ve been.”
Watch the video below from CNN’s State of the Union, broadcast Nov. 16, 2014.