December 18th, 2009
04:35 PM ET
8 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. Warren

    It appears that Mr Franken is only qualified to count his own polyps. They should be the only items he can see from his vantage point.

    December 18, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. Richard from Austin

    Sounds like the GOP of Minnesota are still sore losers and have it in for Al. The criticisms in this blog of Al have no substance, and are just something a not so smart, sore loser would say.

    December 18, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  3. Peter s

    Hey folks you want to understand the current health care debate! please, watch the following video and apply it to the Healthcare debate.
    Ma_Pa_Kettle_Math

    Thats how Democrates and Republicans alike do their political calculations!!!

    December 18, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  4. Stortz

    Senator Franken appears to be a man guided by principles. Good for him and his State! I sure wish I could vote for him, but MN is too cold for me!

    December 18, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  5. Ohcomeon

    Are you kidding me, cnn.com? Really? This is news? Who cares what the MN-GOP has to say about Al Franken? Honestly? What would you expect them to say? Too bad Joe Lieberman is universally reviled in this country...otherwise it might have made a difference.

    December 18, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  6. MNResident

    I take this incident for what it is-A junior Senator following the orders from his bosses. Senator Franken was told by the Democratic Senate ladership (Senaor Reid, et.al.) to follow strict timing rules, and he followed his orders. I criticize Senator Franken for a lot, but if there is blame in this case, it belongs to the leadership for giving Franken the orders in the first place....

    December 18, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. Perusing-through

    Not long ago Joe "Benedict Arnold" Lieberman expounded on (video tape) his support for heath coverage Medicare buy-in for those as young as 50 years old. Then Joe Benedict reneged on his own Medicare buy-in commitment. This Hypocrite Joe has flip-flopped on so many important issues that I find him to be "the real embarrassment".

    December 18, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. brainns...

    "This is the first time I have ever seen a member denied an extra minute or two to finish his remarks."

    McCain can say this becuase the times he himself did it, he was ..... who knows, maybe this old man is senile? poor old man...

    December 18, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. Don- Minnesota

    I am sorry that my home state has lowered it’s self to electing such a … Minnesota was once a proud state that has turned into a third world country. SORRY AMERICA.

    December 18, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. Ken in Texas

    Wait the GOP from a state who gave us the likes of Michelle Bachmann has the gall to call Franken an embarrassment. Thats rich. They give us the biggest wing-nut in congress and somehow Franken enforcing the rules is uncivil and makes him ineffective. What alternate reality do these people live in. Bizarro-sota?

    December 18, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. Chuck

    Mr. McCain had never seen this type of rebuke before? He should get used to it along with his other Republican colleagues because CHANGE has come.

    December 18, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  12. Common Sense '08

    What's an embarrassment is:
    Republicans disregard for the health and well being of the American people.
    Republicans strategy to undermine our president and the image of this great country by traveling around the world to undermine the efforts of Congress.
    Republicans greed who side with big insurance companies for financial gain.
    Republicans hyprocrisy–pray on television, yet does not speak out against racism and injustices against minority people.
    Republicans disdain for abortion, yet they do not care for the well being of children who go to bed hungry every night and a poor education system.
    Republican 2009 Grade – "F" Failing to meet the basic needs of the American people.

    December 18, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  13. Oh That Minnesota GOP!!!

    Wonder if they thought McCain was, what was it .... "petty and petulant" when he did EXACTLY the same thing to Sen. Mark Dayton (D) during Senate floor debate on Iraq back in '02? No, probably not.

    December 18, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  14. piehead

    It's amazing how everyone who's opposed to Al Franken is so simple-minded.

    December 18, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  15. Sadie

    The only ones this offended was the republicans which Lieberman seems to be part of the GOP not an Independent or Democrat........Lieberman is the disgrace just like the GOP for stonewalling the Health Care Bill

    December 18, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  16. geecee

    Good for Al Franken. Lieberman should have been told to shut up a long time ago. I think Al Franken is going to be a strong and loud leader in the Progressive movement of the Democratic party and I am sure that is what the GOP is afraid of. They are so used to being the bullies and pushing everyone else around they can't handle it when someone stands up to them.

    And the Minnesota GOP has a heck of a lot of nerve talking about Franken being an embarrassment. They have Michelle Bachman!! Who the heck is more embarrassing than that dingbat!!!

    December 18, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  17. Truth

    I will move to Minnesota specifically to vote for Al next time...

    December 18, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. Barbara from Canada

    To socialism bad..... Sure, we'll take Minnesota... give them great health care too! Ya!

    December 18, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  19. Gate

    I applaud him for his knowledge of Senate rules and for cutting off a blowhard who likes nothing more than to hear himself speak. Great job Franken!

    December 18, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  20. Chris Bennett

    This site reminds me of a welfare line in the hood. Our country is truly in the toilet with Frankenstien in the Senate.

    December 18, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  21. Paul in Minnesota

    ironic that McCain did the same thing to a Democrat Senator back in 2002 during debate about whether to go to war with Iraq. Look it up. It happened. McCain has a short memory.

    December 18, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  22. Rick

    Somebody enlighten me on Senate procedure. Why in the world was Al Franken presiding over the senate?

    December 18, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  23. jim

    umm, Franken objected because me had to keep people on schedule. That's not a snub, its was his job as presiding officer. Besides, here is a quote from other article in the ticker:

    "Later in the evening it appeared that Lieberman and Franken had made amends, as they could be seen talking, laughing and even hugging on the Senate floor."

    The only one claiming is a snub is the GOP

    December 18, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. John M, NoHo

    Huh? Whaaa??? "Franken has established himself as the most uncivil and ineffective senator in Minnesota history".... how much time has passed since he actually took the seat?

    December 18, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  25. Dean

    The people complaining are the same people who fought for months to keep Franken from claiming his rightful seat in the senate. To call him petulant is kind of like the pot calling the kettle black.

    December 18, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
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