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. Linda31

    There are those that are claiming to be Hillary supporters but obviously do not believe in her issues. True Hillary supporters know what the fight is truly about and to those I say "yes we can!" and WELCOME!!!! The journey is just beginning.

    June 7, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  2. martin

    good . a few more comedians would sure help the stiff shirts to lighten up and chill .people have become hateful since hillary lost ,and the repubs got stuck with mccain.

    June 7, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  3. Itoldyouso

    Norm Coleman is another of the "chickenhawks" in Washington D.C. Just like Bush and Cheney, he is a LOSER. And just because a guy is famous and well off in another field does not disqualify him from being good for the United States. Most of today's politicians are just that -politicians – another word for useless, bought-off greedy traitors to our country. Go Franken!!

    June 7, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  4. Jermaine

    I am a military officer, who fight in Iraq for the rights of all Americans. Yet, I am ashame of some of Hillary supporters, whom I believe are Wolves in Sheeps clothing and by that I mean they are REPUBLICANS trying to influence Democratic supporters to not vote. Repbulicans will stop at nothing until they distroy this nation. I am a military officer and experience get you no where, it isjudgement and honesty. With all the experience of McCain for 26 years in Washington, he still voted locked step to send us to WAR for what? Imagine another 8 years of this Republican machine? It won't happened, OBAMA will defeat McBUSH, McSAME in alandslide victory. White, Blacks, Brown, Red and Blue, a United America will usher in a dynamic new leader for America and the world. Hillary ardent supporters don't really know what they want. Should Hillary be the winner because she is a woman or because she is white. I have the starngest feeling that had John Edwards take OBAMA's place we wouldn't have all this hate and it really shows me that RACIST are among the woman movement. Those who are so bitter (OBAMA did call them out and he was correct) are no Democrats, but racist, ignorant republicans. It is time to turn the page, this is a new century and the Hip Hop White, Black, Latino generation will secure the future for all of us. No longer will this nation be run by a white male, who did nothing since LBJ to advance American cause, Carter tried and had he the support of Democrats we would not be in the mess today with oil etc, Kerry, and Gore had they had just a few thousand more Democrats or American we would have been in a much better place. If McCain becomes President America deserves everything the Heavens will through at us. I for one will get out the US ARMY and move overseas, to Europe, Asia or the America's. John McCain is not the Change we seek, Hillary would have been a good candidate, but this is a CHANGE election and McCain is not the CHANGE we Deserve, too old, to gray and a too in bed with the Lobbyist. I hope ROSS PEROT comes out against McCain! McCAIN is a plant, the Communist made him a MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE BACK IN VIETNAM. The people wo will vote for McCain are the same ones who don't have family in the Military!

    June 7, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  5. MBFLA

    The Republicans have made life miserable for a lot of Americans for 8 years (and a lot of Iraqi civilians too but most don't care about them). I'm delighted if a few Democrats can mess with some Republicans and at the same time do America some good.

    Was ir Democrats who screwed up during Katrina and still haven't fixed it?

    June 7, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  6. Wake Up People!!!

    It's funny... All these people that all of a sudden realize that Al Franken is running in Minnesota... Even though he has been in the race since "2007!!!".... And try to connect Obama and this race..... Seem to be, lets just say, miss informed or living under a rock.... I lived in Minnesota when the Republican Mr. Coleman was a Dem.... He was better and more committed then.... Good luck Republicans trying to sway votes of people that really care about making a complete change. We know you know the Mid Term elections of 2006 were only the beginning..... Dem House, Dem Senate, Dem White House..... It's time for change.....

    June 7, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  7. Clinton Supporter

    Forgot to change my name to McCain Supporter? Oh, so I did. I AM in fact, a registered Independent who will now vote NO to continued racism and sexism in America by casting my vote for JOHN McCAIN!

    You can elect a comedian who makes his bucks by making jokes at the expense of women and minorities any time you like. "Oh, I didn't mean it, that's not me. Really it isn't. Really." Men like this are a dime a dozen these days, and there are more coming out of the woodwork every hour. Hmm...isn't this the state that elected Jesse Ventura – and now you're all so well off out there. Wow. That worked!

    June 7, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  8. The Old Guard

    To anyone who doesn't understand the depth of Mr. Franken's intelligence and understanding of politics, I recommend he or she watch his documentary, "God Spoke."

    Mr. Franken is not a comedian; he is an articulate, informed policy professional who happens to have a sense of humor. I wish I could vote for him.

    June 7, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  9. The Old Guard

    Jermaine, thank you for your service to your country. I appreciate your sacrifice to ensure that we have the freedom to disagree with our leadership from time to time. The price of freedom IS eternal vigilance; sometimes that vigilance is within the country as well as without.

    June 7, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  10. KDH

    Coleman got a lot done for St. Paul when he was Mayor and has done a lot for this State as Senator.
    If you ever listened to Al Fraken on Air America, you would realize that he is a polorizing, divisive person. I thought Obama wanted to get rid of those types and start bringing this country together to get things done. Just what Coleman has done in the past. I find it amazing that the Dems would put a person like Franken on their ticket.

    June 7, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  11. Omar

    Clinton Supporter, you should be voting for the person who can most effectively carry out policies you support and not simply the one with the most experience. A candidate that will carry out policies that you oppose will less effectively carrying out policies that you support than a candidate that will do nothing. Remember, experience is only a teacher (and not necessarily a good one) and some people are more receptive to it than others.

    June 7, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  12. Rave

    Now , Republicans posing as Hillary supporters... shut up and go home. Your cross voting of Rush Limbaugh project has come to an end.
    If you are so dumb to cross vote in the General Elections, Obama will sweep all the Red States too.
    OBAMA will WIN and HE WILL WIN BIG (Big means he will take some Red states over this time).
    OBAMA (2008 -16)

    June 7, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  13. Margaret

    This confirms that the DNC is a F'ning JOKE!!!! I am totally changing parties. DNC announces – NOVICES and COMICS... Please lead our party, as we are an absolute JOKE!!!

    June 7, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  14. li

    even in SNL this guy suck but run be senate easy jobs and really good payment do nothing, and make earmarks just like hillary and others crooks

    June 7, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  15. ted

    Its time for a change .

    Yeah a complete change!

    __ Before Maxine Waters "socializes" the oil companies and drives the American Economy to utter O B L I V I A N, give everyone in congress a mandatory I Q test, that should eliminate the Democratic Party alltogether and save mankind for generations !

    June 7, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
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