July 25th, 2010
09:00 AM ET
4 years ago

Franken implores activists at Netroots convention to fight

'I know progressives are frustrated...because it feels at times not everyone in our party is pushing at the same pace,' Democratic Sen. Franken said Saturday night at the annual Netroots Nation convention.
'I know progressives are frustrated...because it feels at times not everyone in our party is pushing at the same pace,' Democratic Sen. Franken said Saturday night at the annual Netroots Nation convention.

Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) - Using some of his trademark humor and dire predictions, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken implored thousands of his fellow progressive activists Saturday to redouble their efforts to prevent the Democrats from losing control of Congress.

He jokingly called the Netroots Nation convention of bloggers, leaders and others "the most exciting political gathering of the year without guns."

On a serious note, he said, he shared many of the frustrations of those in the audience about a lack of progress on some of their key priorities.

"You really haven't gotten your moneys' worth," he said, specifically mentioning such ideas as a public option government-run health care plan or education reform or public financing of elections.

"I know progressives are frustrated...because it feels at times not everyone in our party is pushing at the same pace," he said.

He told them, however, that several of the bills that have been passed in this Congress - such as the health care overhaul or Wall Street reform - have helped the nation and were stronger because of their efforts.

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Filed under: Al Franken • Netroots Nation
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Dave, Illinois

    Franken is a joke. Those morons who voted him in should hang their heads.

    July 25, 2010 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  2. ran

    And until we get 60 true Democrats we will continue to get the less desirable outcomes. The fear/hate/obstructionist/purity Republicans have only one plan: to do all they can to make sure this President fails in hopes they will regain power. The blue dogs need to be eliminated and Lieberman needs to be striped of any and all chairmanships forcing him to go to the Republicans. But if we were to get 60 true Democrats; then the others could just continue their useless ways because we would not need them.

    July 25, 2010 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  3. vic

    I don’t think democrats will lose the majority in both houses . Many republicans think this year favor for them so republicans having tough primaries. After primaries over they need many washers to clean their laundries.

    More people supporting tea party agenda but they don’t want call them self as tea party member. Now they try to keep distance from tea party they think tea party dividing the country

    Again voters are looking for candidate who can work other side of the boarder

    July 25, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  4. GonzoinHouston

    From the inception of the filibuster rule in 1919 through the end of 2006, the Congressional Record shows 241 procedural votes on filibusters. Since becoming the minority in 2007 to date there have been over 300 such votes.

    Literally, there have been more filibusters by the current Republican minority in the last 3 1/2 years than there have been by both parties combined in the nation's history.

    McConnell & Co have taken the Senate from just under 3 filibusters per year to almost 100.

    Folks, THAT'S obstruction.

    July 25, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  5. ib

    Let us continue to destroy our way of life in this country; keep the present democrats in power. This is not hate/fear it is fact look at the bills they have passed almost every one of them has ran up the deficit and given more power to the gov. More power to the gov. over our life. that's what the demos stand for. Remember in Nov. and vote them out for the sake of our country please.

    July 25, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  6. K

    The headline for this article was "SNL Alum Ralies Activists." Really, cnn? Al Franken is a United States Senator and should at least be afforded the respect of the title. In the 80's would you have written, "Former actor demands Gorbachev tear down Berlin Wall?"

    July 25, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  7. Ruth

    Al Franken tells the truth. Something the republicans can't and won't do. Get his book–lies , liars and the liars who tell them–. You will find out what crooks Bush and Cheney are.

    July 25, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  8. eric kira

    At the inauguration of president of Obama,I watched as millions of americans black and white get all emotional.Sadly,this emotion has not translated in active defense of Obama as he is constantly attacked by right wing neo-nazis.Progressives have to boycott any company that sponsors the Rush Limbaugh show.When the racists in the party depict Obama as a witch doctor with a bone in his nose,white progressives have to clearly state it is racism instead of calling it controversial.When the GOP parades black men such as Michael Steele and other mercenaries as a smokescreen to show the diversity of their
    party. African-Americans should repudiate (refudiate for the illiterate Sarah Palin) them in EVERY POSSIBLE WAY.
    Finally,the right wing nuts have deckared war on any group of citizen that is not the real America(Black,hispanics,etc.).
    It is time in the name of self preservation to respond in kind.

    July 25, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. AmFem

    Dave, my fellow Illinoisan- Franken is no moron. I would define a moron as anyone who votes the repuglicans back into power. They are truly the drunks that drove the bus into the ditch, and they have absolutely no idea how they are going to fix the dire situations that they got us into. The Progressives must be rallied to ensure that progressive Democrats are elected to complete the change that is needed.

    July 25, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  10. Steve

    Franken is a putz - typical of Dem politicians. He illegally gained his Senate seat via hundreds of illegal ballots cast by felons, as well as forgeries; all pushed through by the state's Dem political machine. He sleeps during Senate proceedings, and doodles while he's awake. If this is the role model the Netroots lemmings are looking towards, God help this country if the Dem party maintains control....

    July 25, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  11. Independent_me

    These is an old saying "Empty vessels make the most noise"...

    The Republican Party has been empty of ideas for decades...except when it comes to cutting taxes for the wealthiest, and deregulating everything they can so that corporations can continue to abuse the middle-class.

    Their empty vessels, the Tea Party and FOX "News" have been making a lot of noise that is meant to tear this nation apart. They use the Bible when it is convenient to twist it to their own purposes, and they misuse the Constitution to accomplish their own goals. The Republicans are destroying this nation and they don't care.. and the rest of the media -yes, even CNN – is afraid to call them out.

    When good people remain silent, evil proliferates.

    Franken is right. We may not be making noise and getting media attention, but we must NOT allow these evil-doers to control Congress or the House ever again! We must elect progressive Democrats or TRUE Independents (not Republicans PRETENDING to be Independents like Scott Brown did!).

    July 25, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  12. Phil Muse

    We would have the much-needed progress we have been denied in America if we can do two things: (1) scrap the filibuster, and require only a majority to move measures to the floor for a vote, and (2) go to the polls in November and vote out as many as we can of the Republican senators who rode into office on the coattails of George W. Bush. The Senate lags noticeably behind the House in public-spirited, prgressive attitudes. It's time to change that.

    July 25, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  13. WILLARD BULLOCK

    Im really sick of presdient obama caused he have too much problems
    Repbuicb are strongest than presdient obama

    July 25, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  14. Liz the First

    Al Franken has been a campaigner for the American people through his humor, and now as a senator he has the chance to actually create change. i thank God the people of Minnesota had the good sense to elect him. he's already demonstrating that he will be a major force for good in the Senate. Progressives don't need to be disappointed with Obama, they need to be outraged at the obstructionist rethugs and the traitors like Nelson and Linkoln in our own party. Obama's job these days is as hard as pushing a ten-ton boulder up a hill with the party of NO pushing it back down hoping it'll roll over him. His accomplishments have been amazing and they have all been FOR THE BETTERMENT OF THE COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE. and the more people understand the benefits, the more they are supporting them. support for healthcare reform has risen steadily since its passage. he's working for all of us, not just for the rich and powerful who the rethugs side with against the American people every time!!!And hey, ib and Dave, name one good thing Bush ever did for this country. i'm waiting.

    July 25, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  15. ms

    IB thinks the American Way of life is being destroyed? Sorry to tell you but the so called American Way of Life was just an American Dream...not a reality and will never be the same again. Not because politicians are destroying it but because it was not sustainable! Hopefully soon American's will apply some basic critical thinking and realize that their nation was built with such wealth because after every major war they were the only country that still had a manufacturing base. This is no longer the case and consumption through credit will never bring it back. I am not suggesting that the US will totally collapse but it will never be the heart of the one world again.

    July 25, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  16. Marge

    And to think Coleman a la Bush tried to steal his seat. !!!!! One of the most intelligent and honest senators we have. Goodness compared to the pipsqueak Sessions he is a MAN.

    July 25, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  17. Zachary

    all you have to do is actually view some 35-year-old-plus SNL reruns to see how our Baby Boom generation was degraded (no wonder George Lucas scammed us with the title "American Graffitti"). Anyway, Franken has related in the past how he got the Jew Call from Ed Koch on September 10th 2001, to stay away from his office in the Twin Towers. Maybe Al should find another outlet for his humour – how about The Laughing Chef on the Food Channel? Or star in a new film as the gay father of a possessed child hell-bent on world leadership? Just a couple ideas.

    July 25, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  18. Keith in Austin

    Progressivism was rooted in the 1930's and based on Communistic ideology. The mere fact that AL Franken is one of their poster-boys speaks volumes! They are so far to the left that even most Democrats hide from it's radical viewpoints like the plague. Of course, Pelosi and Reid embrace them.

    July 25, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  19. Jane

    I for the life of me cannot figure out the idiots that voted this tool into office.

    July 25, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  20. texasgreenacres

    to dave in illinois: sen.Al FRAnken is no joke . He may have done a part as the village idiot. But check out his education. He's dumb like a fox.

    July 25, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  21. JC

    Us liberals needs to start playing offense rather than defense. We'll never get anywhere playing defense. Flex some muscles people.

    July 25, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  22. Crabtree

    Come on CNN! The headline starts, "SNL Alum.."?? Are you kidding me? What kind of journalism is that? He's a US Senator...since when do we address a senator by a job they had 25 years ago? And clearly the SNL remark is designed to deligitimize Franken as a joker and not to be taken seriously. Would you address Palin as a "Former Sportscaster..." or Schwartzenegger as "Former Body Builder..." ?? Ridiculous how things like this get through your editing department.

    July 25, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  23. Carmelle

    wow Dave, Illinois. You have GOT to be a teabagger.

    Just because someone doesn't agree with, but yet was voted in office, his voters should go kill themselves??? I bet you consider yourself to be a country-loving American too right?

    The kinds like you are what turn me so off about the Republican party..

    hate hate hate,
    violence violence violence,
    fear fear fear,
    lies lies lies.

    .....that all you offer. Nothing else, nothing more.

    You don't deserve to be an American, let alone living in America.

    July 25, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  24. If Only

    It is quite ironic that some feel Franken is not qualified.

    I guess by qualified you mean: Lie, cheat, steal, have affairs, and vote for any legislation that your party wants you to.

    Ya..he is not qualified. You same people that complain about politics are the same people that keep voting for the scumbag of the Earth. There are no other options BECAUSE WE THE PUBLIC hear some stupid personal attack and make decisions based on negative advertising.

    If everyone simply made a pledge that they will not vote for ANYONE that says anything negative about their opponent VS TELLING ME ABOUT YOURSELF we would have "CHANGE". Until then, Franken is a great person, a smart guy, a decent man and WE NEED MORE OF HIM

    July 25, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  25. Anonymous

    Dave in Illinois!!!!

    We elected Al
    Ffranken to do the job Norm Coleman WAS NOT doing! Get a clue!

    I have come to know AL Franken as not a prolific writer, satarist, actor, etc. But someone who knows how the other side of life lives better than Norm Coleman could ever have known. I consider him and Franni my friends.

    July 25, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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