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. David in KC

    Coleman is a rusted corrupted relic of the Bush mafia. Time to flush him and his failed ideology.

    February 10, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  2. Ray Ray

    Let them both stay home.

    Minnesotans, voting to give a baffoon like Franken a slim chance of winning, don't deserve representation.

    February 10, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. Casey | Sebastopol, CA

    We already know that Coleman hasn't a clue about what the American people will support, which is why he still thinks he won that election... but he's wrong again.

    The American public DOES support President Obama's economic recovery package, though most of us wish that it wasn't so bastardized by Republican "solutions"

    It should be all help to cities, counties, & states, with the rest to MAJOR green energy investment/jobs. But noooooo.... those GOP morons want to keep trying to provide their rich buddies with more tax dollars.

    They want to keep doing the same things and expect different results, just like old Norm, the crook. Isn't that the definition of insanity?

    February 10, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. Beverly, NYC

    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.
    Mr Coleman hate to burst your bubble, 53% of Americans support the Stimulus package , I haven't seen the numbers yet but I believe the President's press conference has brought more our way. How can your party possibly want to be the fiscal watchdog now, while you had no issues spending 10 Billion a month in Iraq for 7 yrs, that 840 billion and counting on foreign soil. All while our troops didn't have proper equipmaent. But you object to the same being spent on Americans here, this stupidity may be part of the reason you
    Mr. Coleman are sitting in Minnesota, fighting for your job against a comedian.

    February 10, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  5. gt

    what is america to do not having stewart smalley giving his advice to america,,,,,,lord help us if this idiot gets in the senate....ugh !!!!!

    February 10, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. ran

    Colemen is again wrong. The American people want out of the mess the Republicans got us into. So happy he can't vote on this one. I only hope franken will get to vote in the near future.

    February 10, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    And while the GOP continues it's political game of mischaracterizing the argument as though it has something to do with "tax & spend" v. "fiscal responsibility," when it's really about who understands the basic principles of economics, people are suffering. I'll give yo a big fat hint: giving $350B to the financial industry without supervision was no different than giving them a tax cut or refund...and we saw how well the "free market regulates itself" when they used it to give out $20B in bonuses and buy $30,000 toilets. The GOP can shove the "trust corporate America to do the right thing" nonsense where the sun don't shine.

    February 10, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  8. Steve (the real one)

    A waste of time as neither one of them has a vote. Not surprising that Colemen supports the repubs and Franken supports the Dems!

    February 10, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. Bruce

    Is Minnesota still a state? I heard they had joined WWF and Comedy Central. They haven't had a politician in that state since Hubert Humphrey died. He had a funny name, but at least he knew something about politics.

    Maybe they could just start all over. Do like Illinois and tell these two clowns they can never run for office again. Then find three or four people to do it again; don't let them pick a party. Let them run on their character. Oops, that might not work. That's what the Framers of the Constitution had in mind.

    February 10, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  10. Steve

    Ray Ray, it's spelled "buffoon". And even if Franken were that, which he isn't, better that than the criminal Coleman.

    February 10, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. Jim from MN

    @ Ray Ray

    Ignorant people like you shouldn't be allowed to breed.

    And if you are wondering I voted for the third candidate.

    February 10, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  12. lori

    Who cares about these two. Minnesota can't even get the election right. same state who voted for a wrestler as their governor.

    February 10, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  13. Jim

    @ Casey: You are wrong. I believe the majority of the American people do not support this plan. If it were in fact stimulus, that would be one thing. It is not. It will not help the economy one iota, unless you are part of the problem, then you will get a fat check.
    @ Ray Ray: Tell it like it is. Franken is an idiot at best.

    February 10, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  14. Independent in Arizona

    C'mon Minnesota....seat your Senator, they've got work to do!

    February 10, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  15. Minnesotan

    Dear God! Let this shameful legal battle end! We've been saddled with lap dog Normie Coleman long enough. This was the guy who said that Franken should concede when the votes were against him, and that he would do the same if the tables were turned. Now, Coleman is proving himself to be a liar, spending our tax dollars on his frivolous suit and denying Minnesota of proper representation. Typical Republican crook.....

    February 10, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  16. Bob

    The irony here is that Norm Coleman was a Democrat until 1998 when he got in a personal tiff with party leaders in Minnesota. The ONLY reason this republican was elected Senator 2002 was because the heavily favored Democrat incumbent died in a plane crash shortly before the elections. IF Coleman would have stayed in the Democratic party, he no doubt would have been the Democratic nominee and won THIS election easily .....Sorry Norm, you lose again, this time to a comedian........The jokes on you......

    February 10, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  17. Luke Brown

    Senator Franken, hang in there. The Republicans think they are entitled to govern and determined to prevent people who represent working people from taking office.

    Most of the voters in Minnesota elected you, just be patient.

    February 10, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  18. Alex

    I don't support Obama's "economic recovery package" and guess what...I'm an American!

    February 10, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  19. theflyingcamel

    "Minnesotans, voting to give a baffoon like Franken a slim chance of winning, don't deserve representation."

    .....says a guy who probably voted for Bush not once but twice. How utterly un-Amercian of you to say so by the way. You should defect, maybe start you own country. May I suggest; "Schmucklandia"?

    February 10, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. Jackie in Dallas

    I agree with Franken that the bill is flawed, but necessary.

    Ray Ray, you do realize, of course, that it takes intelligence to be a comedian? And Franken is in even a more elite few called satirists, which means that they have to know something about a topic to be able to satirize it rather than just make fun of it. He is a Harvard cum laude (with honors) graduate with a degree in polical science. Norm Coleman is a lawyer, with his degree from U of Iowa.

    Both candidates are intelligent men. They have different political stances. But to characterize Franken as a baffoon simply because he uses humor and satire to educate others to think is a bit much.

    February 10, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  21. Al B

    Dear Norm,

    You sir, are a buffoon and out of touch with the America people...

    February 10, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  22. Umm...

    Go away Coleman

    February 10, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  23. J

    Franken as a senator...what a joke.

    February 10, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  24. Barbara

    Look they both are correct!
    And this is not the greatest economic disaster since the great depression.
    Look after Jimmy Carter...
    Thousands were unemployed and interest rates were too high. What did President Reagan do? Do some research guys!!!

    February 10, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  25. Bob in Pa

    I would have to agree with Franken on this one. The bill won't do enough to help the economy. It will however put money in the pockets of a select few and fund way too many programs and pork projects.

    February 10, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
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