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. Liberla wingnut

    Only Minnesota would elect another "has been" "never been" celebrity idiot.

    December 18, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  2. JDC

    Whoever can P*SS off the Republicans like this has my vote. GO AL!!!

    December 18, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  3. bG

    John McCain, Snake-in-the-grass Grassley and all the other GOP members didn't say anything about the "You Lie!" that was screamed at the President of the US during the State of Union speech.

    Al Franken did the right and just thing! And he did it politely.

    December 18, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  4. Tony

    Those of you who say you don't think Franken won the election fairly almost certainly thought Bush won the election when the Supreme Court gave the Presidency to him over Al Gore.

    Look, here's the part of the story CNN left out. Majority Leader Harry Reid INSTRUCTED Franken to limit every Senator to no more than 10 minutes no matter what. There are a lot of issues that have to get resolved and time is of the essence so cut Franken some slack. He was simply following orders given to him by the Senate Majority leader. And it took guts for him to do what he did.

    December 18, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  5. mrdowntown

    Um, I'm from CT and have no problem with Al Franken telling Lieberman to zip it. No doubt more disingenuous BS would have spewn from Joe's mouth, so the world is a teeny bit better off as a result.

    December 18, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  6. MikeH

    What this means is the Right Wing Extremists are afraid of Al Franken. They are attacking him out of fear that he will illuminate their venal and corrupt associations.

    Al Franken has I N T E G R I T Y. Another Democrat with dorsal fortitude. Scares the Bejeezus out of the Republicans.

    December 18, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  7. gt

    senators need to know " you cant get into a peeing contest with a skunk".....

    December 18, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  8. David

    Support the bill, then blame the DEM when it fails. The GOP currently have nothing to support it's failures, let alone a better plan.

    December 18, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. vince

    Mathew in detroit,

    were your pathetic post any more fact free, it would need to be placed in the children's fiction section

    December 18, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  10. Dyan, Minnesota

    Oh give me a break! Joe Lieberman and the Republicans have slow walked EVERYTHING in the last 12 months and have refused to let the simplest procedural matter go without multiple objections and votes. And they have the utter nerve to complain when the Democrats give them a taste of their own medicine??

    CNN, be fair and report this from both sides. This just isn't about what Franken did. It's the fact that the Republicans and Lieberman spent the last year doing the exact same thing to Democrats. Even to the point of insisting that every bill and amendment be read into the record.

    December 18, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  11. sensible Cape Coral FL

    I don't care what it takes to shut Lieberman up. He has absolutely NOTHING to offer. Thank God for the Senate rules that permit a member to cancel the stupidity of others. Maybe next time a Senate page could do it.

    December 18, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  12. Charlier Brown

    John McCain and the Repugnants have never seen anything like that.

    well, neither had we ever seen anyone yelled at a president.

    December 18, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  13. samuel

    this is very refreshing for us especially with liebemanns flirtation with the republican party. WE need someone to stand up to joe who is in the pocket of connecticut insurance gurus. he gets taxpayer insurance but will not allow us to buy into medicare... an ingrate.

    December 18, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  14. Okey Moronu

    I just wish someone had called McCain on it immediately. It is wrong as long as it is not by the GOP. These GOP gizzards seem to forget the golden rule : "others will treat you just like you treat them"

    December 18, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  15. Rani McBride

    This is the way it is, for all of you that can't count. The Democrats have to have ALL 58 Democrats along with the 2 Independent Senators to override a Republican fillisbuster. That means any one Democrat can affect the bill. In the past you could rely on both Democrats and Republicans to vote together. So yes, it is the Republicans causing this bill not to pass, as they have all taken an oath not to support the bill in any circumstance. How pathetic is the party of no? Pretty pathetic.

    December 18, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  16. Clark W Griswold

    It's about time that somebody bit**-slapped Joe Lieberman. I hope it won't be the last time either.

    Way to go Al Franken!

    December 18, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  17. Lynne in CA

    The only embarrassment is the GOP's continued hypocrisy and their obstructionist tactics. I applaud Al Franken for standing up to that flip flopping old goat Lieberman.

    December 18, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  18. Wayne Messer

    Go Al,

    Why is it Lieberman can hold up health care and nobody gets excited but, when Franken uses parliamentary procedures there's a problem.

    The Republicans are funny in how they have such a short term memory on how they hold up bills.

    The whole travesty is politics as usual. Nobody is working on accomplishing anything.

    Nothing but gridlock and ignore the people you supposedly represent. Although, the lobbyist are being represented when nothing happens.

    December 18, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  19. Andy


    December 18, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  20. Mickey

    To The Minnesota Republican Party:

    "You Lie!"

    December 18, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  21. Independent_me

    You go, Al Franken!
    Don't you DARE apologize to those hypocritical Repugnants!!!!
    You did the right thing...Lieberman is a traitor to the American people!

    December 18, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  22. Jim

    Way to go Al – we are 100% behind you – or as Faux News would say 129% behind you!

    December 18, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  23. Proud to be a Minnesotan,

    But hardly proud of most of our politicians. Had this been done by any other Senator on the floor, there would have been no story.

    The never ending refusal of the Minnesotan Republican party to understand that their status quo is no longer accepted is what is the embarrasment to our state. Dragging out an election process for months, simply because the established guard could not accept the fact they lost, then having the gall to "call out" Senator Franklin for following the directions of his party leaders, is the embarrassment to our state.

    Minnesotan's who feel it is acceptable to "call out" an elected official for following standard senate procedures in their ignorance of those procedures is the embarrassement to our state.

    December 18, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  24. Moonbeam

    Stand tall, Senator Franken! We are with you! Someone has to stop playing Joe Lieberman's traitor game!

    December 18, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  25. Betty

    Go Al! You are on the right track. Let's get this health bill passed or let the Republicans filibuster. Let the "No" group show America once again that they really don't care that millions of people are going without health care while they pretend to be upset over a little thing. 10 minutes is enough to proclaim your opinion. 2 minutes was all that was given to discuss a war.

    December 18, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
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