February 10th, 2009
12:02 PM ET
9 years ago

Franken, Coleman spar on stimulus from afar

Franken said the bill is flawed but he would vote for it.

Franken said the bill is flawed but he would vote for it.

(CNN) - Erstwhile Minnesota senate hopefuls Norm Coleman and Al Franken can’t vote on the stimulus package currently before Congress, but that’s not stopping them from weighing in from afar.

Not surprisingly, their opinions are split along party lines: Coleman thinks the bill won’t do enough to boost the struggling economy, while Franken calls the legislation flawed but necessary.

“There are aspects of the final package that I'm not happy with,” Franken wrote in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, complaining that the removal of state aid from the legislation will lead to municipal layoffs.

“That said, this is a good and necessary bill, and were it not for the current election contest, I would be voting for it today,” he wrote.

In a dueling op-ed, Coleman agreed with Republicans on the Hill who say the bill lacks bipartisan consensus and won’t succeed without the overwhelming support of the American people.

Coleman wrote that Democrats are “rushing out of the gate and ramming through a massive spending bill.”

“Unfortunately, not enough has been done by all parties to fix the Senate version of the bill, and the product to be voted on in the coming days will not pass with the confidence of the Senate nor of the American people,” he wrote.

Filed under: Al Franken • Norm Coleman
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Al, NY NY

    J February 10th, 2009 1:42 pm ET
    Franken as a senator…what a joke.

    Fred "Gopher" Grandy as a congressman. What a disgrace. Sonny Bono as a congressman....ditto. Arnold the Terminator as Governer. Fred Thompson as a Senator.....ALL REPUBLICANS... What's your point J?

    February 10, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. BobH

    Regarding Barbara's observation that the economy was worse after the Carter administration then it is today, and suggests that the Republicans improved things and gave us a model we should follow today:

    Carter left behind a balanced budget and almost no debt– a situation the country didn't see again until the Clinton administration. The intervening Republican administrations left recessions and staggering debts.

    February 10, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  3. Ken in NC

    Franken and Coleman both need to sit down and shut up. They can't even get elected to office in Minnesota. By the time they finish fighting over that one seat it will be time to run for re-election.

    February 10, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    @ Barbara

    Economists unanimously agree that this is worse than anything since the Great Depression...most agree that tis is the way to solve it although some don't. Moreover, what Reagan did is what the mostly GOP-controlled legislatures have done since...force feed us tax cuts and trickle down economics in the hopes that their ideology proves to be correct. It didn't. Need we remind you that Reagan also oversaw an enormous real estate bubble that eventually collapsed into a ridiculous recession?

    February 10, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  5. Patrick

    We're never going to know who really won that state. Let them both co-hold the seat until their term is up next. On times they have the same position on something their vote will count. When they have different positions Minnesota won't vote. Makes sense to me.

    February 10, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  6. Mike

    Minnesota is a state??? A real state??? Since when???

    February 10, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  7. Gorbashov - Long Beach, Ca.

    Temporarily seat Franken until the Coleman trial is over!

    Minnesota needs full representation in the Senate!

    February 10, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  8. Lee

    How can Coleman know what the rest of Americans want, when he can't even tell what the people of his state wants. Otherwise, he would not be in the position he is in currently! IDIOT.

    February 10, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  9. Deb

    Shut up Coleman you lost!!!!!

    February 10, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  10. Katherine

    Ronald Reagan lowered taxes (on the rich) so much that he had to raise taxes again three times during his term. Republicans have a horrific record when it comes to debt: I wonder why so few GOP seem to remember the burgeoning debt "The Gipper" left us with. They spend and spend and spend, and then cut taxes for their rich buddies.

    Inflation was a problem before Jimmy Carter took office: I remember Gerald Ford's dorky "WIN" buttons, even if you don't.

    And we've got MILLIONS unemployed now, heading for double-digit unemployment, something I've not seen in my 50-year lifetime.

    I'll wager Franken, when he's seated, turns out to be a much better Senator than most states have right now. Norm, I think, is headed to jail....

    February 10, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. Survivor

    to fall short of perfection is human.

    February 10, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  12. 1776

    Good republican, Coleman, good boy. Just keep regurgitating the party line rhetoric...no, no, don't think about it, just repeat it...good boy!

    February 10, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  13. Just Say No to Socialism

    Franken, the future and the face of Democrats every where. What a joke!

    February 10, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  14. Erik

    To the editor,

    Turn off comments. They serve only as a distraction from the news story and a magnet for idiots. You're doing your reputation a disservice by enabling comments without moderating them.

    How am I, the reader, served well by comments such as "Shut up Coleman you lost!!!!!", "Franken as a senator…what a joke" or "a baffoon like Franken" ?

    If you insist on displaying comments you need to hire an editor to select the intelligent ones and delete all the garbage polluting your website.


    February 10, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  15. Kwesoe

    Will the real Norm Coleman please stand! Here are my questions and I want a truthful answer of you. Did you vote for the 700 billion dollars bank bailout during the dying days of the Bush era? Were you High when you voted for that bill? Did you lose the last election? Are you going to concede and start looking for a new job? Thank you, Norm for answering 'Yes' to these important questions. You are a noble citizen. Now, you may take your seat. No, not there, in the back roll. Good boy.

    February 10, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |



    February 10, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    @ Erik

    Let me explain something to you. The media is no longer in the business of journalism...that died a long time ago. It is in the business of attracting viewers, subscribers, clickers, readers, etc., because the larger the audience, the more they can charge for those advertisements you see on TV, in the paper or on this website. They care nothing for truth or accuracy anymore, just what will increase their audience and justify higher advertising prices. This is why they give equal air time to GOPer morons blathering about tax cuts and trickle-down economics and basically telling us to "trust corporate america to do the right thing if you'll just give them more money." Actually reporting that much of wha the GOP has been saying is inaccurate, mischaracterization and political nonsense would lose them viewers, so they walk on eggshells and just play up the "controversy."

    February 10, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. Ken in Dallas


    You're mistaken in thinking CNN doesn't moderate comments. Most of my posts end up in moderator limbo for hours, if not permanently. The inflammatory comments are getting in by design.

    February 10, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  19. Ken in Dallas

    What did President Reagan do?

    He cut taxes, and the economy languished for two years.

    He doubled Defense spending, the economy picked up, and Reagan claimed this was all due to the economic genius of his tax cuts that had been in place for two years.

    What Reagan did was fail, fall back on Keynes, and lie.

    February 10, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    @ Joe Kiloz

    Well, you're a very successful loudmouth. 🙂

    February 10, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  21. Woohoooo!

    "Republicans on the Hill who say the bill lacks bipartisan consensus"

    So this is the major issue? Not if this is what will work, or how to make it work....or what else might work....but instead...."I didn't get my 2 cents in! It's not bipartisan!!!!" Up there acting like a bunch of rich highschool kids....while thousands line up for a hand full of jobs....why I oughta.............slap you all back to where ya came from!

    February 10, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
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