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. D-Weezy - OH

    Go Al Franken! Hey the republicans are saying "Golly, another wannabe with no creditentials. How could that happen?" Then they have to find someone to blame it on, so they say it's Obamas fault. Well, that sounds just like a republican huh? Blame some else for your own screw-ups. At least you know what you'll be up against...the less educated. Hey, take responsiblity for your pathetic campaign efforts and lack of responsibility. There are plenty of credentials to go around amoung the candidates, it's obvious that maybe you just can't read well enough to find them.

    June 7, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. D-Weezy - OH

    Go AL!

    June 7, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  3. carlos

    Im comforatble, with Franken making the GOP less comfortable.

    June 7, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. Sandra

    Well, considering that Franken is over the age of 50, I would hardly call him a "boy"

    June 7, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  5. Janet, 60+White Female American via Canada

    Al Franken 2008! Go get them Al!

    June 7, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. Mary Harris

    I think Hillary is a great lady. Bill Clinton was a great president. Sure he made some mistakes. We all do. The media could show more respect for the Clintons. Could any of the do whta they have?? Just asking} Obama shoud cosider Hillary for VP amd amke history all the way.

    June 7, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  7. Jeremiah Wiggins, NYC

    And look where "experience" has gotten this country. Voting for this so-called experience for sake of voting for experience is like playing the same losing hand over and over again until your broke. It's times like these when you need a Mr. Smith to go to Washington and change the way things are done. However, if you'd like the economy to continually spiral downward. If you'd like to kiss female reproductive rights goodbye. If you'd like this war in Iraq to continue indefinitely. If you'd like the cost of Health Care to continue unchecked. By all means, vote for John McCain.

    June 7, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  8. Vig

    Hail Hillary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WRITE HER IN TO WIN IN NOVEMBER.

    June 7, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  9. Jane

    Franken says, "that's not who I am." I'm sorry, but when someonemakes sexist remarks, it says volumns about them. I'd like to see a democrat in as many spots as possible, but sometimes I'm not so sure women win either way.

    June 7, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  10. Larry

    YAAA finally someone i can vote for...unless he is a backer of BO. Cant stand colman...and wouldnt vote for him anyway..

    June 7, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  11. Jonesey

    Clinton Supporter... I suppose you would have said the exact same thing about JFK? A boy with no real credentials?

    June 7, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  12. Tyler in Raleigh, NC

    Why doesnt he just keep making them uncomfortable on the radio and keep his tax cheating ways to himself.

    Sure he would fit right in with Congress... but do we really need another known corrupt thief in the Senate?

    June 7, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |

    Please print this. Those of you who will vote for MCCAIN, you are saying, you would live in hell four more years or more then to vote for a black man. Mark this; if you get your wish, you talking about how hard it is now, there will be no end to the road we are on. Read your bible, it is right, God dose not lie. You are about to write yourself a check you never will cash!! Obama, Stay with the Lord, if He is for you no one can stop you, keep the faith, there is nothing too hard for God! May God be with you all he way? A-Men.

    June 7, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  14. Shannon

    Al Franken will be the only reason I vote in the General, I will not support Obama and his nasty campaign. Good luck in the general without all the people his supporters demeaned and insulted throughout the campaign. Unity, what a joke, have you read the comments this site from Obama supporters. There is no unity there, hate is all I see!

    June 7, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  15. Tom in CA

    Nancy and I moved to Minneapolis in August, 1973. We loved Minnesota (even though during our first winter it got down to -43F and the other delivered 83" of snow). We moved to Tennessee in the fall of 1975 (after Nancy got her Master of Science in Microbiology at the U of MN).

    To think that Norm Coleman would ever become a Senator disheartened us – we loved Hubert Humphrey. Now is the time for Minnesotans to rectify this and vote Norm out.

    Long live the DFL Party.

    June 7, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |

    I really don't know exactly what joke was that offended the people and know that we all are accountable for things we say, but I question the fact that this is the same show that all the presidential candidates wanted to be on and was on knowing they among others uses risky jokes to get their point across.

    June 7, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  17. Sean

    Hopefully Jesse Ventura jumps into this race, that'd be fun.

    June 7, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  18. The US abolishes century old clinton dynasty


    June 7, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  19. JJ in NY

    Franken is the biggest joke of all !!

    June 7, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  20. mike

    and what was the price of oil when BUSH took office?
    Mitch McConnell & the republicans blocking every bill!! dem's needing 60 votes.. come on your trying to blame this economy on the democrats LOL

    June 7, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  21. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    I WAS a Franken supporter, but some of the latest satirical writings have given me pause. I will reluctantly give some consideration to Senator Coleman.

    June 7, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  22. Tom in CA

    ...oh yeah – vote for Al.

    June 7, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  23. Tom in CA

    ...because he's better than Norm's votes for every Bush policy.

    ...Vote Al! VOTE Al! VOTE AL!!! Dammit vote for AL!!!

    June 7, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  24. Scott in MN

    Al, you are good enough, smart enough, and... doggone it... people like you!

    How did an Al Franken post turn into more emotional outbursts from militant Hillary supporters? That's nuckin' futs!

    I don't believe a d@mn word these Hill-itants say... they do not want to be stuck in Iraq, or see the rich get richer, or start a war with Iran, or have crappy healthcare, any more than the rest of America does. They will vote Obama when the time comes.

    HIllary lost, but she's f@#%ing rich and famous... who should feel sorry for who?

    June 7, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  25. Al Franken is a Big Fat Porno Freak

    The Dems continually lower the bar to new depths. Just what this country needs...

    June 7, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
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