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

MN GOP calls Franken-Lieberman incident an 'embarrassment'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Ruggybee

    It’s about time someone take a stance with regards to this nonsense that is happening in Washington. These GOP hypocrites and their alliance with Lieberman are aware that with effective Health reform that truly help the American people they will be out of office next year and therefore not have a fighting chance in 2012 so their gold is to block anything that’s progressive by any means necessary. The next change for America should be 70 liberal seats in the senate. AT what point is politics put aside and for once do something that truly benefits the American people? The American people can get more support from the Taliban than they can from the GOP it’s a dargan shame.

    December 18, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  2. Perusing-through


    Why should anybody care about "Joe the Snake"? The snake said he would vote "Yes" if Public Option was removed, but he reneged on that. Then he said he would support Medicare buy-in and now he flip-flopped on that. He caucus with the Democrats, but campaigned with Republican candidate McCain while unmercifully launching nasty lying personal attacks against 2008 Democratic candidate Obama. PLEASE BOOT THIS SNAKE FROM ALL PARTY CHAIRMANSHIPS!

    December 18, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  3. Ram

    I think that Joe Lieberman is the bigger fraud...who and what is he representing??? The vast majority in his state is against him on health care reform...its time someone put put him in his place...

    December 18, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. Drew

    Funny how Mccain made a big stink out of it yet conveniently forgets he did the same thing to a Democrat during the hearings leading up to the iraq war vote. What a hypocrite and little man. The senate would do well without him and the loser from Connecticut.

    December 18, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  5. mjm

    "Al Franken's petty and petulant behavior on…the floor of the U.S. Senate is an embarrassment to our state,"

    Oh no . . . . the Republican't Party has cornered the market on "petty and petulant behavior" in the US Senate floor and everywhere else!

    You gotta love the "I know you are but what am I" argument. Next you libs will be using "I'm rubber, you're glue...."

    December 18, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. tom

    It is the idiots like Tony Sutton and his fellow fools behavior that led me to permanently leave the Republican Party. With knuckleheads like them leading the party to hell was more than I could take. McCain know the rules and any extension of speaking time is at the whim of the presiding person and a privilege, not an automatic grant of time. Screw the republicans, they have killed their own party.

    December 18, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. Mark

    For all you cry-baby Republicans clamoring about "respect and dignity" on the senate floor, I've got two words for you: Joe Wilson.

    December 18, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. JimCA

    They get called on breaking the rules as part of their strategy to delay, delay, delay, and then they have the gall to complain?


    December 18, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. roger bowen

    Good for Franken, I don't know how anyone could listen to that punk for ten minutes let alone more

    December 18, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  10. PEldering

    Outrageous...has he not learned to be civil in a meeting! the Junior Senator ought to apology in writing!

    December 18, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  11. FactCheck

    Oh I beginning to see this logic: it's perfectly fine to yell "You lie" to the President during a nationally televised speech but heaven forbid that someone should bring up the rule of quorum during a floor speech. Especially if the speaker is a fool puppet of the insurance industry/GOP.

    December 18, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  12. Patience

    It is time for some of these spinless Democrats to squeeze this guy.
    He has shut down the health care issue and the spinless President won't do anything about it either.
    So Al- good for you!! It is time for some of you to go for this guys throat. Just shutting off the microphone to a speech is the very least he deserves.
    Time for all of you to grow a backbone.
    You were not sent to Washingtom to protect the Pharma and the Insurance companies.
    Give something back to the people. We are dying and going bankrupt, all the while you are taking money from the Insurance lobby and running for re election. How nice you have wonderful health coverage.

    December 18, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  13. BillyBobTomRedcracker

    More of these guys should stand up to the blow-hards in both parties. If there is a ten minute limit then everyone should stick to it. A lot can be covered in ten minutes especially if the person talking is staying on point and not rambling. Go Al Franken!!!!

    December 18, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  14. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    cry to someone who cares Tony the republican pupit .. jerk boo hoo to the republicans I hope if we ever get a public option america will see the republican party for what they really are a bunch of foggies doing big business biding and sucking on the butt of the insurance industry , my hopes are that all of you get yours when the time comes and find your self out in the cold with out health care options . you are what in this country would be concidered a terrorist to the american people . and ADOLF ( joe ) LIEBERMAN is your new leader of idiots if you win the debate over health care I quess all of america will have to learn to salute with our right hand streched upward and palm facing flat and then march with a goose step like HITLER DEMANDED. 🙁

    December 18, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  15. Joe

    Al Franken stole the election from Coleman and behaves like a COMMY or communist. He is a disgrace to our constitution and the great state of Minnesota!

    December 18, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  16. Steve

    When McCain cut them off it was because Senators were arguing the point. He did not cut off anyone, he was trying to maintain order as things were getting out of hand.

    Franken basically stole the election, and now he is a mockery to the United States Senate.

    December 18, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  17. neena

    Lieberman is a snake. Someone had to kill the snake...
    I say, don't give ANY TIME to the Party of NO.

    Thank you Senator Franken

    December 18, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  18. Four and The Door

    Yes it was a goofy choice for Senate representation by the people of Minnesota. Well, half of them anyway. Slim pickin's up there, huh?

    December 18, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  19. David

    can we stop the bickering and complaining Washington? The GOP did the same when they were in charge and unfortunately DEM are doing the same. GOP in charge the DEM complain and when the DEM are in charge the GOP complain, history never seems to change regarding this issue. You both try to push your own agenda with no regard to other party, thus the impasse and indifference begins. Someone, GOP or DEM , hopefully both, need to start talking and compromising. Both parties are leading this country down a very dangerous path of no return.

    December 18, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  20. WangFu

    "MN GOP calls Franken-Lieberman incident an 'embarrassment'"

    How is this worthy of Top News?

    Would you expect the MN GOP to say anything different? Now, if the GOP said or did something right for a change, I can see that being news-worthy.

    December 18, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  21. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Mr. Franklin needs to remember that hes not performing for Saturday night live any more and John Mc Cain's humor is limited.

    December 18, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  22. Al Alvarez

    Well done, Franken.

    Lieberman, Nelson and the GOP need to stop wasting our time. They and the insurance companies who bought them can all go to hell. The rest of us are tired of Lieberman the hypocrite.

    December 18, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  23. Frank

    Right on Al! Good going. You can tell who the sore losers are, they're whining like Republicans are known for doing.

    They bring no good suggestions to the table. They're only obstructionists.

    December 18, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  24. carrieanne

    LIEBERMAN MAKES MY HAIR HURT !! I can just hear Joe Lieberman say,"How dare Franken NOT let Joe Almighty speak one minute longer?
    Well, Joe, now we see your true colors. You're using your power for powerful insurance fat cats. You used to be for the people, but you turned on them.
    There you were with that cheesy grin on your front of Senator Al Franken and all your Senate colleagues , and someone actualy had the audacity to say "NO" to Joe Lieberman..
    (Yes, Senator Al Franken, a Senator from the great state of Minnesota......Al won fair and square, get over it). My 80 year old mother has a message for Joe, "Shame on you!"
    Pompous Joe Lieberman is the embarrassment!

    December 18, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  25. Stuart Smalley

    Joe doesn't have to agree with me. I'm smart enough, i'm strong enough, and gosh-darnit, people like me!

    December 18, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
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