July 7th, 2009
11:53 AM ET
13 years ago

Senate Republicans highlight Franken's arrival in new Web video

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/07/art.60ad0707.yt.jpg caption="The NRSC is out with a Web video that highlights Al Franken's arrival in the Senate."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Minnesota Senator-elect Al Franken's arrival on Capitol Hill some eight months after Election Day has set off a message battle in anticipation of the 2010 midterm elections.

"60," a new Web video released Tuesday by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, features campaign footage of Franken and invites viewers to hold Democrats responsible in 2010 now that there are 60 Democrats in the Senate.

"With 60 senators, [t]he Democrats have total control. No checks. No balances," flashes onscreen over the Franken footage.

The video suggests that Democrats have the power to push through legislation on a number of issues all with "no debate," because Franken potentially gives Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a filibuster-proof majority.

"They own everything. . . . and have no onto blame now . . . In 2010, you can hold them accountable."

The release of "60" comes a day after Franken made his first appearance on Capitol Hill since his opponent Norm Coleman conceded a razor-thin race in the wake of a ruling for Franken by the Minnesota Supreme Court.

"A lot has been made of this number 60," Franken told reporters Monday. "The number I focus on is number two. I see myself as the number two senator from Minnesota."

"Democrats are not looking at Sen.-elect Franken's election to ram legislation through this body," added Sen. Harry Reid, who appeared with Franken. The Senate Majority Leader said that he hoped the Republican minority would take part in bipartisan negotiations on legislation instead of being what he called a "party of no."

Franken's arrival does not automatically guarantee Reid a filibuster-proof majority. Due to health problems, Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts have frequently been absent from the Senate since the start of the 111th Congress. Even with the Senate Democratic caucus at full force, with Byrd and Kennedy were present, every one of the 60 Democrats in the Senate would have to vote in lock-step to break a filibuster.

Related: Even with Franken, breaking up (a filibuster) is hard to do

Filed under: Al Franken • Senate
soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. lucy2

    OK then, if you'd like people to vote to break up the 60 seat block, how about this – put up some GOOD candidates! Don't just expect people to vote against a Dem because you say 60 is scary, actually give us some good options, people with ideas who are willing to work for ALL the people in their state, and for ALL Americans.
    If the GOP is going to continue to exclude people and turn away moderates, they're never going to get back any of those seats.

    July 7, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  2. John

    The GOP have no one to blame but themselves. After 8 years of GOP control of government, this is the backlash.

    The GOP created the economic mes we're in, did nothing about it when it was happening, and are now trying to blame this GOP mess on Obama.



    July 7, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  3. Terry from Texas

    Conservative Republicans are like the teenaged son of a family who took the family car on an unauthorized joy ride. Now the car is four feet underwater in the neighbor's swimming pool.

    The teenager says to his parents (you and me), "Listen, it doesn't matter how the car got into the swimming pool. That's in the past, and we don't want to spend our lives mulling over things that we can't change. What we need to discuss now is this: what are YOU going to do about it. If you think I'm going to take the bus to school tomorrow, you are mistaken. It's YOUR job as my parents to provide transportation for me."

    July 7, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  4. SlowGun

    @Mike July 7th, 2009 12:05 pm ET

    The republicans seem to be making the assumption that the Democrats are a single entity instead of 60 different rational human beings. Just because they have a majority does not mean they will all vote the same.


    Mike they make this assumtion because that is how they act.
    What ever Rush says...they do.
    There is no such thing as a moderate Republican, or heaven forbid, a liberal Republican...If there was, Rush would tell them they are not real Republicans, and he'd kick them out of the party.

    RNC = RUSH, Newt, Cheney

    July 7, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  5. SlowGun

    @Alfred E. Neumann July 7th, 2009 12:49 pm ET

    Whose the biggest clown – Al Franken, Harry Reid or Ted Kennedy!

    Vote early. Vote often.

    Hey Alfred...great question, yea they all could be considered clowns. But I think I'll submit a write in vote. – George W. Bush

    Just google "Bush quotes" and I'm sure he is the biggest clown of all.

    July 7, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  6. Chuck

    This is your mess, Republicans, that we, Democrats, have to clean up. It is my everlasting hope that this great nation of ours will never, ever get to see you in power again, God forbid.

    How could the Cheney/Bush administration, with assistance from their Congressional cronies, have turned this country into such turmoil in such a short span in our 233 year history.

    July 7, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  7. Teabagging

    Apparently we've 'owned everything'for a day..

    July 7, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |

    Sounds like sour grapes to me. Go get 'em , Al! Be careful what you wish for, Repugnants! f the Dems are successful in passing legislation that helps average Americans vs the super-wealthy, it will ensure a Dem majority for decades to come!

    July 7, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  9. Buffalo

    Senator Al Franken. The Republicans have no one to blame but themselves for being so lock-step aligned with the George Bush administration, the Newt Gingrich congress and the right-wing radio talk shows. As the announcers say at soccer amtches: GO-AL!

    July 7, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  10. Travis

    which ever republican made this video needs to get a life!!

    July 7, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  11. You had your window Repubs, and you blew it!

    Apparently accountability was invented in 2009. Before that......

    July 7, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  12. James

    This is a strange tactic. The GOP is saying that we should be worried about5 the Dems because they blew it so bad in 2008. So if I understand them right, the best solution is continued gridlock and filibuster?

    Word of advice: compromise and prove you can govern and maybe the public will take you seriously.

    July 7, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. jim - chicago, illinois

    what disturbs me the most about these comments is that cnn lets people like alan ("make the world a better place shoot a democrate in the face. Tinme to assignate some dems they way they assignated palin") post these sort of comments. i'm all for free speech, but i think this goes a bit too far...

    July 7, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. virginia for obama


    1. Obstruct
    2. At like they had nothing to so with the last 8 years.
    3. Blame others for everything.
    4. Cry foul if someone calls them out.
    5. Have no new ideas or concerns about the future of the US.
    6. Just thinking only obout getting back into the WH.
    7. Critize Obama 24/7
    8. Wishing for another terrist attack so they can say I told you so.
    9.Always wanting an apology without apologizing themselves.
    10.Don't care about Health Care because theirs is free.

    I applauded those Rupublicans that finally seen them for what they really are. And that is Senseless of what the people in this country weather DEMOCRAT, REPUBLICANS OR INDEPENDENT are going through because they don't feel the pain. MISERY AND SUFFERING KNOWS NO PARTY. THANKS WHY WE VOTED FOR SOMEONE WHO CARES!!!!!!

    July 7, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  15. someone

    Ok, GOP party of NO members(the crazy ones), here is what I have to tell you about this:

    STOP. COMPLAINING. You had control of the Senate before(60+ I think), and nobody was complaining. Your party lost, GET OVER IT and start thinking of new ideas for this country.

    No, attacks against the President or saying NO to the plans don't count as new ideas.

    Hell, I bet if Obama chose Jesus as his VP and former President Lincoln as a Supreme Court Justice or Sec. of State, they would be against it.

    July 7, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  16. Soo Yang

    To dan 12:51 pm ET

    Republican view of the Courts:
    When the Supreme Court issues a conservative ruling, it's a judicial act. When the Supreme Court issues a liberal ruling, it's a legislative act.

    July 7, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
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