July 7th, 2009
11:53 AM ET
12 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. DJ, Los Angeles

    Too bad the GOP can offer no meaningful solutions of its own other than the usual fearmongering and hate.

    July 7, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  2. Fla.

    Democrats seem to be more independent thinkers compared to the rubber-stamping/ditto Republicans these past several years.

    Sorry, but with No ideas, No direction, No leaders, & No credibility, it will be a long time before I ever consider the GOP again with my vote. No thanks.

    July 7, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    FEAR! It's what's for Dinner at the RNC. To hear them tell it, when the Reps "owned everything" the whole world was just hunky dory – a terrorist attack, a war under false pretenses, spying on everyone, fear, mistrust, greed – just hunky dory.

    July 7, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. Carlos

    "Total Control" of the Senate means any given party has all 100 Senate seats. Does this mean the Republican Senators are going to cede their seats to Democrats just to follow their own non-logic?

    July 7, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  5. Soo Yang

    No more checks and balances? How about the Republican-leaning Supreme Court?

    July 7, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  6. citizenjane

    Well said, leadfrog.

    Twenty years ago it was communists, a month ago it was terrorists, today Al Franken. The GOP would be helpless if they didn't have an enemy behind every corner to blame their fear on.

    July 7, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  7. JonDie

    Republicans are sore losers who have nothing to offer America but criticism because that's ALL the GOP has to offer.

    July 7, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  8. Dean

    Fear Fear run for the hills This is all the GOP knows

    July 7, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  9. Marc

    Jonathan – Man you hit it right on the nail!

    July 7, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  10. People's Voice

    Once again the GOP shows their immaturity. Can anyone tell me what the last proposal they have brought up that would help this country as a whole. I really can't think of any.

    Even a spoiled child gets tired of crying after a while. These people never get tired of doing it.

    July 7, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  11. Tom in CA

    Ahhhhh..., the Grand Obstructionism Party is now trying to be sophomoric?

    They're such kidders.


    July 7, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  12. Tired of the blame game

    Granted the Dem's were handed a disaster. Period. But so far, I haven't seen ANYTHING the Repubs have even remotely offered to help this mess. All they have done is deliberately try to create more problems, and complain CONSTANTLY. I'm tired of it. You read these comments people post about kool aid, messiah, socialism.....it's downright absurd. The only thing it proves is why we have the reputation of being the dumbest country in the world and are a laughing stock. Face facts people, the big business greed thrived under the GOP and it's why America is on it's knees now. They have proven they can't be responsible. On the same token, we are banking on Democrats to fix this, if they don't then it will be time they hit the highway to. For once I just wish the American PEOPLE were represented instead of everybody else.

    July 7, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    You notice that the Republicans have forgotten how long they had the 60 votes plus the House and no one complained. They sound like little spoiled children that throw tantrums when they can't get their way....and how many times have the Republicans wanted and "up or down" vote in the Senate to cram something down our throats?

    July 7, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. Kate in SW Fla

    Bipartisanship is a joke. The Republicans will purposely obstruct any kind of solutions to each and every issue, just to score political points. All they ever talk about is how they can get votes, to get back in power. Nothing about how to solve the problems they helped create.
    It is years past the time when we could have saved the planet or fixed social security or improved our health care system. And even if we were to straighten out and regulate the financial markets, it is too late. The damage has been done. The US will no longer have a leadership role. Emerging countries no longer want to be like us. They no longer send their young talent here. Frankly, I now believe we are doomed. And I blame the neocons for all of it. The damage they have done now appears to be irrepairable.

    July 7, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  15. The Lion

    Kind of like how we held you accountable in 2008?

    July 7, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  16. Alfred E. Neumann

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

    Vote early. Vote often.

    July 7, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  17. A Free Thinking American

    @ Soo Yang-the Supreme Court does is not a legislative body-it is a judicial body. They don't vote on any bills in Congress.

    @ Everyone else blaming the Republicans-let me remind you that the Democrats have controlled Congress for over two years now and therefore bear some responsibility for the current state of America.

    Think before you ink!

    July 7, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  18. not-unAmerican

    Unfortunately Gov Palin has gone to Russia to become their President! Who is left to fight these Dems?

    July 7, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  19. dan

    To Soo Yang @12:33 pm ET:

    The story is about Democrats ramming new laws and policies through the LEGISLATIVE process. I know that liberals view the Supreme Court as part of that process. But you really need to understand that the Supreme Court's role is JUDICIAL, and not to enact new laws!

    July 7, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  20. GI Joe

    Imagine what Palin would have done by now.

    July 7, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  21. Don Mahanna

    "alan July 7th, 2009 12:27 pm ET

    make the world a better place shoot a democrate in the face. Tinme to assignate some dems they way they assignated palin"

    Way to go Alan! Next time spell check before you issue a death threat.

    July 7, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  22. Haas

    The GOP, Palin, Rush, Cheny, and their right wing nuts are getting exactly what they deserve! I'm glad their upset.

    July 7, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  23. Vince

    Sounds to me like the Reps are giving the Dems a green light to ram legislation through in any way possible. Since there will now be "no one else to blame" and the Dems will be "accountable in 2010", then they (the Dems) have no choice but to fully push their own agenda. I say GO FOR IT! If things end up better, the Repubs will be OVER!

    July 7, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  24. Tom


    Not only do Democrats have to clean up their mess, but now Republican leadership is trying to shift the responsibility for their decade of abuses to the Democrats by 2010, instead of trying to help restore our nation. Eisenhower is spinning in his grave to see his once Grand Old Party now become a bunch of spineless traitors.

    July 7, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  25. N@vi

    We voted them out of the White House, out of the House and the Senate, and they STILL cling to there failed policies. Rather then working with there policies to make them more inline with the majority, they have to go out on a fear campaign and refuse to budge on issues.

    Hopeful we Kentuckians will send them an even clearer message in 2010 by throwing Bunning out.

    July 7, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
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