June 7th, 2008
01:58 PM ET
8 years ago

Minnesota Democratic Party endorses Al Franken

Former comic Al Franken

Former comic Al Franken

(CNN) - Former comedian Al Franken, whose bid for the U.S. Senate in Minnesota was threatened by controversy over jokes from his past, won a crucial endorsement from the state Democratic party Saturday.

The DFL Convention endorsed Franken unanimously on the first ballot in Rochester, Saturday, after rival Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer conceded the vote to him and urged the party to unanimously back him. Nelson-Pallmeyer’s withdrawal means Franken will likely not face a major primary challenger, and will be expected to face Republican incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman in November.

The former "Saturday Night Live" writer drew criticism from political rivals in recent weeks for off-color jokes during his career, including an essay in “Playboy” Magazine a decade ago.

In his speech before the state convention, Franken told the crowd, “I’ve had some tough conversations this week. It kills me that things I said and wrote sent a message to some of my friends in this room and people in this state that they can’t count on me to be a champion for women, a champion for all Minnesotans, in this campaign and in the Senate”

He said, “I’m sorry for that. Because that’s not who I am”.

Franken apologized for the content of some of his material in the past, saying “for 35 years, I was a writer. I wrote a lot of jokes. Some of them weren’t funny. Some of them were inappropriate. Some of them were downright offensive. I understand that. And I understand that the people of Minnesota deserve a Senator who won’t say things that make them uncomfortable. But I’m in this race because there are some people in Washington who could afford to feel a little less comfortable.”

Filed under: Al Franken
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. Clinton Supporter

    Golly, another boy wannabe with no credentials. How did that happen? Could it be Obama opened the door?

    June 7, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  2. Ben Staton

    Yes, we in Minesota want this race to end. WE are tired of Norm Coleman and his corrupt practices. Al Franken was the strongest candidate from the beginnng and we need to rally around him and get him to Capitol Hill!

    Go Al Franken for Senate 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 7, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  3. Tom

    Al the guy who pays NO taxes!!!!! Way to go DNC!!!

    June 7, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. Nanc, MN

    Please Gawd, as much as I care about Democrats, must we show the same ignorance with this fool as we did with Ventura? How much stupidity is the average Minnesotan to take? Without the Twin Cities, Franken would never have had a chance. Oh well, I'm only an hour from Manitoba, maybe it's time to make a run for the border.

    June 7, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  5. t-bone

    You are kidding me! I thought Minnesotans were smarter than this! You don't support someone JUST BECAUSE they're your same political party affiliate. You get behind someone because of their values and integrity. This guy has neither. Minnesotans – you're smart people who care about what's right. Do the right thing and DON'T vote for this hollywood wannabe.

    June 7, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. Jim Caton, New Mexio

    Hey Al-maybe you can tell us why if McCain represents 4 more years of Bush, and everyone hates Bush, why are McCain and Obama in a statistical tie. What is it? Does Obama have bad breath or something? What could it be??

    June 7, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  7. Marc in DeKalb, IL

    Franken, who you are, is a composite of who you were and who you want to be.

    All of those jokes are part of who you are. Accept it, admit to it, but talk about the future.

    Blind recanting is senseless lying.

    June 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. Mario

    Go Franken, get the seat and help us reach 60. On my book, you can always crack a joke, especially on Billo!

    June 7, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. No Drama Obama

    give up clinton, you lost, you conceded and thats that!
    GO Al Franken, Minnesotans need you, America needs you
    Obama/Edwards 2008

    June 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. jmm




    June 7, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  11. Jeff J

    Will the Clinton Bitterness never end.

    I wish I lived in Minnesota so I could vote for Al Franken!

    June 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  12. Sheldon Barr

    If we can have the clown in the White House, we can certainly have someone who can write his material in the Senate.

    June 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  13. Kobisking

    Get 'em Al. We need to paint all 50 States Blue!

    June 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  14. Mike Kaplan

    Al Franken is a very smart man, and he is on the right side of just about every single issue, in my opinion. As for opening the door for him, first of all, isn't this the state that already elected Jesse Ventura? Compared to Ventura, Al Franken is Henry Kissinger, fer cryin' out loud.

    But you can also blame George Bush and 8 years of corrupt and STUPID government for driving more people away from their right wing agenda. Al Franken has been fighting hard against that agenda for the last 8 years. I'm only sorry I don't live in Minnesota to vote for him.

    June 7, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  15. Jim Caton, New Mexio

    Al would be OK if he paid his taxes. Let's see how he settles with the IRS before we put him in office.

    June 7, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  16. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    It's not just Franken's jokes that are "downright offensive," it's the man himself. There are few people more contemptible than wealthy socialists who, having made their fortunes, want to tax the rest of us into penury in pursuit of a Nanny State that presumes we're all idiots or children and incapable of managing our own affairs.

    June 7, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  17. jmm




    June 7, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  18. Jude Semps

    Change is on the way across the country. Bye Bye to the ststus quo. Go Al.......Go Barack

    June 7, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  19. Linda31

    Why are all the comments closed???

    Couple of things
    – Thank you Senator Clinton for that wonderful endorsement! Welcome to the family and the goal of changing the White House. 8 years of Bush is more than enough. Just have to look at the state of the nation to know that.

    – For those that say the Senator Clinton was robbed by the party only have to look that the primaries MINUS the superdelegates. Obama won more primaries. And please do not discredit Senator Clinton by saying that she did not run a hard campaign.

    – For those that are posting on here pretending to be Clinton supporters, we are not fooled. I find it hard to believe that Senator Clinton's supporters would not listen to her and her message. The simple fact is if you want to honor Senator Clinton and help her promote her causes and the issues she has spent her life fighting for, you would vote for the candidate that is willing to do that.....Senator Obama. The issues are the what are most important.

    June 7, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  20. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    Go Minnesota, its time for change in America.

    Clinton Supporter, all of you need to get over this and move on. If you don't want to vote for Obama and Franken, don't. Write in the name of the person you want, that is your 'God given right' and then ask for a name badge, so you can pay more at the pumps and higher health care, high rates of the economy and higher interest rates on your mortgage. Go ahead write it in, better yet if you can't write, vote for McCain. (better not have a son or daughter becoming of age, they won't be going to college instead they will be going to war)

    Go Obama and Franken 08

    June 7, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  21. Green Collar Worker

    I'd vote for him. It'd be nice to see someone in Washington who a) isn't afraid to call BS on some of the currently accepted practices there and b) possessed the ability to frame things in a manner that would allow ordinary citizens to see just how ridiculous the current beltway denizens are. While we're at it, let's get Stewart and Colbert into office as well!

    June 7, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  22. Dale

    Golly, a person who faces putdowns by others because he's different, has new ideas and isn't part of the Washington elite. Could it be Clinton has made this a standard of any political attack now?

    June 7, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  23. gotagibson

    We've had many elected officials do things much more deplorable than tell offensive jokes in this country. Al's humor got us through the hard times and now his leadership will take us back into the good times.

    June 7, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  24. Chris M.

    Great. We should really be getting to know these people who will be taking over Republican seats in November.

    Democrats '08!!!

    June 7, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  25. Tess

    The Democrats in this clown state were looking at choosing among 3 different guys, none of whom have ever held elected office. Where is Jesse Ventura when we need him?

    June 7, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
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