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. kj

    Enjoy it Sen. Reid as you will be gone next year. Your own constiuents are fed up with your politics, if you want to call them that. It's funny that the Chairman of the DNC had to campaign for you in your home state about a month ago.

    Senator Reid, you're washed up. I recall last year that you threaten to "shut-down Congress" without evening passing a Continuing Resolution and the Speaker of the House, what was she doing? Why she was home on vacation promoting the sale of her new book.

    What a shame on both of you as you're supposed to represent us, the public who elected you to office. The both of you are a disgrace to the American people and you should both step-down.

    July 7, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  2. Bill

    The checks and balances built into our government are to ensure equal power distribution across our three branches of government. The were not designed to ensure power distribution of political factions. As a matter of fact, there is no mention of political parties in The Constitution.

    July 7, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  3. Hugo

    Democrats keep leaving off the last part of the party line for the GOP, It is not just No, it is NO, let's take a common sense look before we spend someone elses money... Why can't you guys get the whole thing right, ever?

    No more blaming Bush on this mess, it is all yours Obama!

    July 7, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  4. andy

    I like to think that we, the people "own everything." A filibuster-proof majority only exists if 60 democrats vote the same way, which hasn't been the case so far.

    I hope Republicans don't take this as an opportunity to NOT GOVERN, so they can sit back and point fingers in upcoming elections. Just get back to work.

    July 7, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  5. SlowGun

    Now that they have total control...does the add say they will start a war for false reason like the republicans did when they had total control?

    Let's think about all of the good things the republicans did when they had total control;

    Kept us safe...no (read the 9/11 commission report...asleep at the wheel, Bush couldn't even pronouce al quadi)

    Health care reform...no (but Cheney did get a new pace maker with government provided health care)

    Improved energy policies...no (they are in big oil's pocket)

    Work on climate change...no (they don't believe in science)

    About the only thing they work hard on was the Terry Shavio matter. A private matter that government has no business gtting involved in...

    July 7, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. John, Brooklyn, New York

    The Republicans STILL don't get it. They simply will have no hope of regaining power in Washington unless they are able to capture the hearts and minds of a majority of Americans. Scare tactics don't work anymore, much less an empty plea to vote AGAINST Democrats simply because they are apparently so much more popular than the Republicans right now.

    July 7, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  7. SlowGun

    @GI Joe July 7th, 2009 12:52 pm ET

    Imagine what Palin would have done by now.


    Joe one can only judge by her record.
    She would have found out that it is a tough job.
    And she would have quit.

    July 7, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The problem with this ad is that it doesn't note the following: Byrde and Kennedy aren't full time in the Senate since they are ill. This also assumes that all the Democrats will vote for what their party wants. You thought getting Republicans to vote one way was hard, Democrats are far worse.

    July 7, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  9. yuri

    Weird Al (just kiddin') needs to rapidly reverse the opinions of the cynical chaps who are not thrilled about this recount, pretty fast, in order to capture their hearts (yeah, right!). Else, he will end up in a blind alley, with an alley cat, reared by nay-sayers.

    July 7, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  10. Rational4Liberty

    Are dems really this obtuse? The GOP hasn't had 60 votes in a century!
    The GOP never had a filibuster proof majority in the Bush years.

    The dems have no one to blame but themselves, but I'll bet you a year's salary they're still blaming "obstructionists" in the GOP and Bush next year even though the GOP by themselves cannot obstruct anything!

    July 7, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  11. Four and The Door

    This message is exactly what needs to be said. The Democrats have proven that they will ram through partisan legislation. Fine. Punish America for giving you that power, but be prepared to be held accountable in 2010 and 2012.

    July 7, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  12. Ken

    That's OK. In 2011 the goofball NRSC will be releasing a video called "65". And it is a testament to the abject stupidity of many Americans who fall for the rightwing propaganda that the title won't be "70".

    July 7, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  13. Randolph Carter

    Sorry Sparky but 30 years of deregulation and trickle down nonsense got us where we are today. It's going to take a decade at least to get us back on track after the republicans destroyed this country. Yes, that's right: destroyed. Of course it will be difficult now that capitalists control pretty much everything on the planet. Have a nice day my little consumers!

    July 7, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  14. yuri

    Everybody step back and quit blamin' everything on GOP, 'cos they have had it with harsh crirics. They are ready for a change that is best known to them but unbeknownst to any other.

    July 7, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  15. vince

    Basically what the Republicans are saying is they have no new ideas, nothing to offer the American people, they will sit back and hope the Democrats mess up so they can regain power.

    July 7, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  16. RAG

    A cute trick, but the American people are not that dumb.

    Bush ripped the fabric of America to shreds for 8 years, 6 of which were with a Republican controlled Congress.

    Obama has done wonders in his first 6 months in office to begin the reestablishment of the Republic, but the Republicans have the blood of our nation's ecomony, foreign relations, liberties and (most importantly) soldiers on their hands forever and no amount of wishing and playground "tag you are it" will ever change that.

    July 7, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  17. Paul Abeln

    The conservative era is over. It started with Reagan and ended with W. The Republican party is finished. It will shrivel and die. I suspect a new party for conservatives will emerge, but not for quite a while. The Republicans will continue to obstruct and flail about, but don't worry, it's all an act that has played out. America is done with the party of the rich and ignorant. We all need to look ahead and make the new liberal era succeed.

    July 7, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  18. Marc

    A Free Thinking American – agree with that the Democrats, and even those who are independent by name or de facto and where either at the Senate or the House, have to bear part of the responsability (not guilt) for the current economic/financial/political state of the country.
    No doubts about it.
    However, it surprises me (and not in a good way) that they are shouting the 'No checks. No balances.' stuff. They had it between 2001 and 2006 and it was good back then, because THEY were the ones who got it.
    Now that they don't have it it's BAD?
    'Whiners' is the most kind word that occurs to me about this....

    July 7, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  19. HJA

    Uh exuse me GOOPERS we are holding you responsible for what is going on. Don't think we have forgotten. When 2010 comes around I am volunteering for the Democrats. I have had it with you two faced liars.

    July 7, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  20. ken from holland, PA

    alan July 7th, 2009 12:27 pm ET

    make the world a better place ?

    either you are 110 years old and this is your first computer or your 10 and need to go back to school. next time, use spellcheck or go back and finish the 7th grade. this just proves you should be able to pass some type of test before you vote.

    July 7, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. HJA

    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

    Making death threats is illegal. I am amazed CNN would post this. This clown should be turned over to the authoirties. You have to post a legit email address. They can find this creep.

    July 7, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  22. 25 year old independent, get a clue, it's time to rise above the childish ways

    Ha the gamble of hoping the Obama Administration Fails is so funny because obviously that means their "Country First, Party Second" montra was a complete joke. Man the GOP really knows how to shuffle 8 years of horrible polices to others. Their worse then my 10 year old step child trying to blame the dog for getting into trouble. I think the GOP would be better off if they would just stop being so stuborn and accept publicly they made an 8 year mistake, becasue at least with the Obama dems, we know who's accounatble now but the thing is he's actually doing an okay job. I don't like everything he does but at least he's being productive "trying to help" the country.

    July 7, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  23. HJA

    Proud Member..Party of No July 7th, 2009 12:21 pm ET

    Outstanding ad. It's all on the dumbocrats and they are failing on every front.
    "On behalf of conservatives everywhere I accept you democrat's apology for electing this nitwit as president."

    On behalf of the the majority of this country I accept your apology for causing the mess we are in. At least our "nitwit" president didn't go AWOL and have his daddy get him out of it.

    July 7, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  24. xavier

    You know, when I see republicans on TV they just look evil.

    July 7, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  25. Jason

    I hate to burst people's bubble but both Democrats and Republicans are to blame for the current economic mess from Barney Frank's fiasco with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to George Bush's bailouts and handling of the war. Government has failed and continues to fail even with Obama . . . period!

    Oh well, people are too ignorant to see that and follow the usual political rhetoric.

    July 7, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
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