December 18th, 2009
04:35 PM ET
11 months ago

MN GOP calls Franken-Lieberman incident an 'embarrassment'

Franken is taking heat for cutting off Lieberman.
Franken is taking heat for cutting off Lieberman.

(CNN) - The Minnesota Republican Party is calling out Sen. Al Franken's over his refusal to grant Sen. Joe Lieberman additional time to speak about the health care reform bill Thursday night.

"Al Franken's petty and petulant behavior on…the floor of the U.S. Senate is an embarrassment to our state," Party Chairman Tony Sutton said in a statement. "In just six months, Franken has established himself as the most uncivil and ineffective senator in Minnesota history."

The incident in question came Thursday evening, when Lieberman asked Franken, then presiding over the Senate, for an "additional moment" to conclude his remarks after the allotted 10 minutes had expired.

"In my capacity as the senator from Minnesota, I object," replied Franken, prompting a surprised Lieberman to ask "Really?"

Franken spokesman Jess McIntosh said Franken was merely following orders from his party's leaders, who asked that floor speeches be kept within their time limits to keep the debate moving.

The incident sparked a sharp rebuke from Sen. John McCain, who declared, "This is the first time I have ever seen a member denied an extra minute or two to finish his remarks."

Though the liberal Web site Thinkprogress reports McCain himself refused to grant senators additional time to speak in 2002 when the chamber was debating the Iraq War authorization.


Filed under: Al Franken • Joe Lieberman
soundoff (306 Responses)
  1. Michael Chefalo

    It is stunning that the party of Norm Coleman has any comments on petty and petulant behavior.

    December 18, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. FactCheck

    I'm curious, do all of you right wing-nuts get a check from the insurance industry (like the kind that Lieberman does for his "campaign")?

    December 18, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. EJ

    I've got an idea. Why not support this limit? Why not support other limits, like spending bills that only fund what they're meant for, rather than stuffing them full of pork? Why not demand efficiency and adherence to the rules, rather than continue the same old traditions that allow for the malfeasance and ineptitude that infests Washington to carry on year after year?

    This sounds like some of that there Maverick thinking which was so big with the red state trailer park crowd. Funny how they're all on here whining about it when it isn't coming from their side.

    December 18, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  4. Unbelievable

    I can't believe all the folks on here that think the Republicans are holding up the "health insurance reform." Democrats have majorities in the House and Senate and have the White House. If the Democrats can't get something done it is ENTIRELY their fault, not Republicans!

    December 18, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. Tom

    Franken is a boor and a bore! No class, and an embarrassment to his own state.

    December 18, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. stike 1

    After watching mc cain, kyl, mcconnel , coburn, vitter, ensign, and grassley why would anyone with an ounce of brains have respect for these clowns. someone mentioned they paid their dues would be willing to bet they took a helluva lot more dues out than they put in.

    December 18, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. csh

    GO AL!!!

    McCain was stupid enough to select someone of the caliber of Palin as VP so he deserves NO mecry!

    December 18, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  8. anotherGDlefty

    "Al Franken's petty and petulant behavior on…the floor of the U.S. Senate is an embarrassment to our state,"

    That's what the MN GOP says now.

    Is he more petty & petulant than Norm Coleman was for 8 months aftre losing the election......................

    I don't think so.

    He played a procedure that exists. Much like the rule that they can ask for the bill to be read out loud eating up days worth of debate time.......

    December 18, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  9. sfeighner

    I don't know why these folks are feigning outrage. After all, Franken was just following the instructions of Majority leader Harry Reid who had ordered all senators who presided to keep speeches to their ten minute limits and not grant any extensions" for senators of either party

    All Franken did was follow the rules of the debate.

    Now where's the problem???

    Scott

    December 18, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. AK

    CALL LIEBERMAN'S BLUFF

    Does anyone thing he will really vote against this thing? He is BLUFFING. Time to ante up.

    As for all the people here who say Franken is disrespectful, did you come post comments like that on this board when Joe Wilson (R-SC) Heckled the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES during a speech to Congress.

    Oh, I forgot, republicans live in a world where they can do anything they want and it's ok, but when the other side does it, it's like some kind of crime against humanity.

    Enough with the hypocrisy already.

    December 18, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. tom

    there is indeed something in the water in Minnesota. We got a crazy nut named Michelle Bachmann too. So that should equal out the kooks of both genders. How ever Bachmann gets more coverage for her insanity.

    December 18, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  12. JL

    Where was this outrage over Joe Wilson??

    December 18, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  13. linda

    The outrage should firstly be about Joe Wilson's "you lie" to the
    President of the United States.

    Go Al Franken – you did the right thing – Lieberman and the rest of his Republican wingnuts deserve zero.

    We are very proud of you Al – keep it up!

    December 18, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  14. janey : maryville.tnUSA

    I saw this when it happened and the senator before him was denied more time also.... It wasn't just directed at Lieberman.... The headline is very misleading....
    When i saw this i laughed my @ss off ..... Lieberman just sait ..OK ...then left the floor....

    Then McCain had to get up their and say something about it... Then another senator corrected McCain about it.....
    I had a good time watching yesterday .....

    December 18, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  15. Wolfen

    Who cares what the Minnesota GOP has to say? They're the losers that dragged on that fake fight over votes for more than 6 months, disenfranchising the whole state by only giving them one Senator.

    Franken was exactly right to cut-off Lieberman. He's a paid shill of the insurance industry and no one needs to hear his creepy, whiny voice any longer.

    December 18, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  16. scott winter haven

    Whose next in the Senate for the Dumbocraps? Micheal Moore?

    December 18, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  17. David

    John McCain can barely remember where he is, he's two faced hypocrite too. Maybe he should apologize for being old and taking tax payers money. He should step down and let some fresh new ideas enter Washington. This is the first time in my life I have seen a GOP member complain.

    December 18, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. OldUncleTom

    The MN GOP is the party of Michele Bachmann; enough said.

    December 18, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. the Film Professor

    Al Franken was speaking for millions of us, and I thank him.

    For reasonable cost health care to be held hostage by jerks like Lieberman and Ben Nelson is just disgusting. I hate it that the Senate requires 60 votes, rather than just a majority vote, to get anything done - and particularly in a situation where none of the Republicans are willing to do anything at all to try and change a situation where the health insurance companies are just screwing hundreds of thousands of families in our great country. They are a national disgrace, and I say shame on them!

    December 18, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  20. Big Bill from Brooklyn

    The Clown versus The Comedian. Which is Which? Does it matter?

    December 18, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  21. LuLu

    We need more Senator Franken's in the Senate. Go Senator Franken!!!!!!!!!!

    December 18, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  22. Jerry Thurman

    The individual, not a man, was a poor excuse for a Joke; now he is a JOKE!!! Wake up America!!!

    December 18, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  23. David

    John McCain picked Palin as a running mate, that's enough about McCain.

    December 18, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  24. HD

    Give me a break. What about the Repbulican that stalled the proceedings by having a clerk read a 780 page document aloud to the chamber. This idiots are acting like children. We need adults that want to fix the problems of this country.

    December 18, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  25. Lori, Houston Texas

    Finally, someone had the balls to tell Joe Lieberman to shut up. It's about time. Who died and made Lieberman the decision maker for affordable healthcare for all? Lieberman is a self absorbed, lying sack of garbage who should be removed from his committee chair ASAP.

    December 18, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
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