December 18th, 2009
04:35 PM ET
6 years ago

MN GOP calls Franken-Lieberman incident an 'embarrassment'

Franken is taking heat for cutting off Lieberman.

Franken is taking heat for cutting off Lieberman.

(CNN) - The Minnesota Republican Party is calling out Sen. Al Franken's over his refusal to grant Sen. Joe Lieberman additional time to speak about the health care reform bill Thursday night.

"Al Franken's petty and petulant behavior on…the floor of the U.S. Senate is an embarrassment to our state," Party Chairman Tony Sutton said in a statement. "In just six months, Franken has established himself as the most uncivil and ineffective senator in Minnesota history."

The incident in question came Thursday evening, when Lieberman asked Franken, then presiding over the Senate, for an "additional moment" to conclude his remarks after the allotted 10 minutes had expired.

"In my capacity as the senator from Minnesota, I object," replied Franken, prompting a surprised Lieberman to ask "Really?"

Franken spokesman Jess McIntosh said Franken was merely following orders from his party's leaders, who asked that floor speeches be kept within their time limits to keep the debate moving.

The incident sparked a sharp rebuke from Sen. John McCain, who declared, "This is the first time I have ever seen a member denied an extra minute or two to finish his remarks."

Though the liberal Web site Thinkprogress reports McCain himself refused to grant senators additional time to speak in 2002 when the chamber was debating the Iraq War authorization.

Filed under: Al Franken • Joe Lieberman
soundoff (306 Responses)
  1. Franken is a fraud.......

    the people of Minnesota made a big mistake......this is not's the U.S. Senate.......they put a clown in a serious situation.....

    December 18, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  2. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Why get all bent out of shape on this? Lieberman has spouting off on this subject for quite sometime now anyway. And maybe it is time that McCain and Lieberman join the same party...think they are attached at the hip the way the pal around together.

    December 18, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    The GOP from Minnesota led by Little Timmy Pawlenty obstructed the Nov. 2008 election. They are the true embarrassment.

    Go Big Al, take no crap from the tea baggers!

    December 18, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. once upon a horse

    lol how soon they've forgotten Joe (YOU LIE) Wilson

    December 18, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. old man lies

    On October 10, 2002 — just ahead of the looming mid-term elections — the Senate rushed a debate on a war authorization giving President Bush the power to use force against Iraq. The resolution ultimately passed the Senate after midnight on an early Friday morning by a vote of 77-23.

    During the course of the frenzied floor debate, then-Sen. Mark Dayton (D-MN) spoke in favor of an amendment offered by Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) that would have restricted Bush’s constitutional powers to wage war against Iraq. After a minute and a half, Dayton ran out of time, prompting this exchange:

    The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator’s time has expired.

    Mr. DAYTON. I ask for unanimous consent that I have 30 seconds more to finish my remarks.

    Mr. McCAIN. I object.

    December 18, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  6. SocialismBad

    Al Franken an embarrasment? Gee, now that's a shocker! The people in Minnesota that voted for this imbecile should have their citizenship revoked.

    Maybe we can sell the state to Canada to help pay down the national debt?

    December 18, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  7. Realistic

    Rules are rules and the time limit was set, thats the rule. The only reason republicans are speaking up is to try to get Joe on their side and continue to delay the vote on healthcare.

    December 18, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. maf

    When you have ten minutes to say what you need to say and then can't, does that just mean you want to hear yourself talk, instead of getting to the meat of your message? My thought is that this independent is not so independent anymore! Unless you are trying to assist in the process you are resisting the process. Sounds more GOP to me.

    December 18, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    The MN Republican Party might want to review the episode when McCain did in like manner to another Senator, Mark Dayton (MN) what Franken has done to Lieberman.

    The age of reality has truly caught up with the dinosaurs, making them look more and more foolish each day.

    December 18, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. p

    Senator Al Franken is my hero for standing up to "Judas" Lieberman.

    Al Franken was quite professional and frankly Lieberman has used up is allocated time and is was quite approprate for him to be stopped as has had months to have his say. Jusdas long winded, grandstanding taking on the Senate floor was just a crude attempt to further delay the bill.

    December 18, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. CNN afraid of a liberal post

    What did he call it on October 10, 2002 when Senator Mark Dayton (D) from MN asked for 30 seconds more to make a point when they were debating bush's war issue. The self same SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN got angry and yelled I object. And Dayton was denied the time.

    HEY MCCAIN WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND. I suppose this little tid bit won't be published because it shows the republicans up in all their back stabbing. ((YOU KNOW LIKE)) they did it first.

    December 18, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. Rickster

    I don't get it......the people of Minnesota seem to be such nice people. How in the world could they have elected such a lunatic to represent them?

    December 18, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    No whats truely embarrassing is the Republican party hurting this country just so they can make Obama look bad how saD

    December 18, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. Jim

    I am so sick of the GOP trying to make everything a scandal. Their whold political strategy is to whine and mock and complain and stall. The GOP offers no solutions and is an embarassment to America and they are keeping us from dealing with the problems that confront us.

    December 18, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain

    Excuse me?!? Has anyone actually looked at the video of the exchange between Senator Franken and Senator Lieberman?

    Senator Franken very politely invoked a rule of the Senate to keep things moving along, which had been done earlier in the day (Senator Levin kindly pointed out this to the petulant Senator McCain, when McCain expressed his indignation). When Senator Lieberman asked that the rest of his remarks be entered into the record, Senator Franken OK'd it.

    For the GOP to try to make this into an issue is ridiculous! All they've done when it comes to anything that will help our country is to obstruct and delay.

    The GOP is nothing but a bunch of whiners and bullies.

    Someone ought to take the them out back, tan their hides and wash their mouths out with soap!

    December 18, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  16. Robert

    What's an embarrassment is the MN State GOP making such a statement. The article itself states he was only doing what the leadership told him to do. And contrary to his shock, something McCain himself has done.

    Trying to make political gain over nothing. That is the GOP today.

    December 18, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. Gallimimus

    Good for Al. Liebermann is just a wind bag anyway.

    December 18, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |

    Do we even need to comment on this crap?


    ALL of AMERICA hears and sees the hypocricy of the Grand Ole Philanderers party.

    You can't CLAIM to be a Christian 24/7 and LIVE LIKE a HEATHEN for 6 of those days.

    I say, don't even give the Party of NO any time at all.

    December 18, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. A. Eichmann

    I can relate.

    December 18, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  20. Orange Curtain, CA

    No...the Republicans are an embarassment and that sell-out snake Lieberman. First he claimed he was for Medicare expansion, now he is against it after he got bought off by the lobby $.

    December 18, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  21. WHAT!

    Goes to show. Actors need to stick to what they know.

    December 18, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  22. A in Austin

    Al Franken of all people should know how "the other ones" like to drag things out – only took about 6 months to get him seated. Go Al!

    December 18, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  23. Jordan Reagan

    I'm sorry but I guess I just don't understand what was so out-of-line or embarrassing about what Senator Franken did. He was well within his authority to deny him the extra time, and he did so. What's the big deal? Joe Lieberman doesn't get special treatment just because he's been getting so much media attention lately. If he can't make his argument in the allotted time, then too bad for him. What's next?

    December 18, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  24. Dofofun Florida

    People like Lieberman knows the rules. But he is a senator so the rules or law does not apply to him! Just ask Bush.

    December 18, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. Chicago 11

    Recall that Sen. McCain did the same thing to Minnesota's Sen. Mark Dayton in the 2002 debate on the run-up to the war.

    Guess he forgot what comity is, too.

    December 18, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
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