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McFadden goes at Franken's record in first debate

Full video of Wednesday's debate between Sen. Al Franken and challenger Mike McFadden, courtesy of the UpTake.

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McFadden has ideas

Like Alice in Wonderland!

“His head is filled with ideas,
but he doesn’t quite know what they are!”

Gotta love it when Senator Franken hits it into the stands.

McFadden's ideas

As Bob Dylan might have put it:

He's got a head full of ideas
That are driving him insane.

Only reason a Republican

Only reason a Republican senator's percentage might seem less partisan is that cloture votes are so rare, i.e., when you block most legislation from coming to a vote and only let through the stuff that most can agree on, you can look more reasonable than you are. Mike McFadden would not be any different.

This is, like most from McFadden, an idiotic premise for ads and campaign issues.

Republicans can campaign against President Obama all they like, but about the only reason this administration is unpopular at the moment is that they have been undermined at every turn by an anything but loyal opposition (Mitch McConnell's "make Obama a one-term president, gridlock in Congress, etc., etc.).

Save the world: Vote Democratic. Give Republicans power and you get wars and recession or worse, so just don't do it.

Out of the Park.

Looking backward is what the challenger is doing when he cites the length of time the Polymet mine has taken.

A sense of history is important.

Where are the magic ideas?
The medical plan we have now - is the REPUBLICANIZ-ed version.

If Polymet
“HAS to say that they agree with the careful process” -
should we then believe that Mr McF is telling us that they are lying to us?

McF looking pleased with himself & a little surprised that he did not get a standing ovation for a quip that went flat: comparing Senator Franken to Ted Cruz, explains the awkward nature of his ads.

The Republican and McFadden permit approval process

for Polymet

Does it make a lot of money for a bunch of people?


I’m leery about the mining - but it will go through

My point was that McFadden was telling us:
That he believed Polymet lied when their said they were fine with the careful process.

I don’t need to extrapolate very far to see that he seems to have concluded this.
And apparently the supposed lie, IF they did, is fine with him. That concerns me.


All of the relevant federal agencies have given their approval to this project. There is nothing more Congress can do to move it along (thank God!).

Mike the Miner's harping on this issue can mean only one of two things:

He is counting on voters being fooled by his bluster; or

He doesn't know this himself. If this is true, does that make him one of those "ill informed, low-information voters" whose access to the suffrage certain types around here think should be restricted?

The new Steve Forbes

McFadden is making the '97 percent' his cornerstone issue much like Steve Forbes did in 2000 that a flat tax would solve all of our country's problems. Talk about the issues not some debatable statistic.

I believe that McFadden

has in fact proposed a flat tax.


Well, that'll fall flat...

On a superficial cosmetic level ...

the first MN Senatorial debate heard via Minnesota Public Radio's audio feed, Senator Franken (who I strongly support) sounded less animated and sometimes slow on the uptake compared to Mr. McFadden.

We should probably score it on content

The presentation on radio may come across muted,
as would be the norm on MPR.

That harkens back to Jesse Ventura’s debate. I went for that animated guy that time.

Jesse, however, was entertaining, and it filled some of the gaps where he was light on policy.
Mr McFadden is not [entertaining] though he is light on policy & still hasn’t told us much of “The Plan."

On camera, it appeared that the senator was in collected command.
He explained his record & positions. We know he can be entertaining too.

I would like to see more flashes of humor from Senator Franken, but the job is serious.

Conversely, you might want to see the look on Mr McF’s face when he thought he
was being clever in the “Ted Cruz” comeback that fell flat.

Animated & jittery, though not entertaining is what I found Mr McFadden.

McF failed to answer why he ran away from speaking about Syria when asked over & over as a candidate. He failed to answer on the podium once again, despite trying to paint foreign policy onto Senator Franken!

I liked Senator Franken before & I like him more now.
No thanks on the new guy. Mike's no Norm & he sure ain’t Jesse.

Of Course Mr. McFadden Can't Do Anything but Attack Franken

Because, as is the case with MOST Republican candidates, he can't possible spell out the "Republican Agenda" or average citizens would ever vote for him:

If elected, he would do everything his his power to make sure people such as himself got a good deal richer,...

the middle class fell farther into poverty,...

and if people got ripped off, got injured by shoddy products or lost their homes, their livelihoods, and/or their retirement funds it wouldn't matter to him in the least,...

as long as someone like him got richer in the process.

Franken, on the other hand, is dedicated to making sure that everyone gets a fair chance to use their gifts and talents in productive work,...

and those currently without the physical, psychological, or spiritual means to do so, gain those means, and, if that's impossible to accomplish (which it is in far too many cases) still have enough resources to survive.

Played out just as I thought

Played out just as I thought it would. I think things are going to be just fine.


"I'm glad I moved to South Carolina because McFadden doesn't stand a chance."

Unfortunately, Mr. Swift

your prognostications on political events here in Minnesota - especially election results - have been wrong most of the time. Same sex marriage and voter ID constitutional amendments, senatorial and gubernatorial races, the list goes on.

In fact one can do a pretty good job at predicting election results in Minnesota by choosing the side opposite the one you support.

Perhaps the fact that you live - and vote - in South Carolina has something to do with that? Your views are not reflective of the majority of Minnesotans as the coming election will demonstrate once again.

And that will certainly

And that will certainly please President Romney.

Listening to the radio

Listening to the radio re-broadcast now. A few comments:
1) the gulf in the candidates' demeanor, as remarked, is striking. Sen. Franken seemed in his first race, against Norm Coleman, to be a reluctant campaigner, and it reads that way in today's debate. He would much rather be deep into policy work, to his credit. But if you're running for office you owe it to the public to campaign as if you want the job.

McFadden sounds borderline unhinged in his voice as he makes his emphatic points about how he'll create jobs and sweep regulations out of the way. The Cruz comment and several others, not to mention the 97% theme, sound tone deaf from someone as substance-free as he.

2) the argument that the economic rebound hasn't been as strong or quick as most everybody would have liked is valid, and the party in office usually has to answer this. But the "are you better off?" question from McFadden wouldn't work in his favor. Additionally, how many voters will remember his party actively attempted to damage the economy and it's recovery, and not just with the brinkmanship over debt ceiling?

McFadden complained that Obama removed troops from

Iraq too soon.

I was surprised that Franken didn't set him straight, that that was based on George Bush's time line. The reason Obama couldn't leave anyone there at the end was because Iraq wouldn't agree to guarantee our troops wouldn't be charged with crimes while serving there.

Is anyone aware of any polling info on them?

Fuzzy Math

Just because most all Republicans go into an anti-Obama frenzy at the mention of the man's name, he still won his last election in MN in 2012 by almost 8 points. And while Obama's popularity has declined, I'm betting those voters still give him the benefit of the doubt. Making the centerpiece of your campaign: "If you dislike Obama, you'll like me" is a great way to get to 45%. Mike: You need to get over 50%. This is not a great start for the guy in the race who is supposed to be good with numbers.

If "If you dislike _____,

If "If you dislike _____, you'll like me" is such a bad idea, why is it every Democratic candidate made Bush derangement syndrome the centerpiece of their campaigns in 2008...and still do today?

Obama is at 36% approval in Minnesota, which is no doubt the total hardcore leftist population of Minneapolis and St. Paul. I think most people are just sick of him.

Mr. Swift really doesn't get it ...

If Obama's popularity is so low that tying - or trying to tie - Franken/Dayton to him is such a great strategy, why is it that both Franken and Dayton have double digit leads over their opponents?

I guess it really is true that facts have a liberal bias.

See you at the Minnesota ballot box in November, Mr. Swift?

Guess not.


most people are sick of the dreck that has been tossed at him, which has been the well documented plan by what passes for the GOP all should be proud. Of course, it's turned the thinking person's perception of the party into the equivalent of the crazy, grizzled guy living in the run down property at the end of the road who yells at kids and points guns out the window at whoever rings the doorbell, but that's the price you've paid.

Do you ever wonder

Do you ever wonder where voter apathy comes from? It just might be meaningless political debates. Everyone sets up their debate boundaries of what they will and won't talk about, stale talking points are the majority of the debate, the front runner tries not to make any gaffes, the other guy tries to look like he has a great plan but can't figure out how to let anyone know what it is. Voters, in the end, stick with the known quantity because the other guy scares the heck out of them.

There is nothing meaningless this year.

Too apathetic to vote
There is a chance some important things are going to be undone.

What people have gained or retained the past hard years, may evaporate.
That is not hyperbole.

This is not a year to sit on hands
Who has made this a tougher recovery by their actions, if not the guys that are only too willing to screw up OUR intervening years, just for political advantage?

The early debates surely ought to be about the facts, not fabricated hype.

A tough hurdle for any challenger
There is a reason for the public to be apprehensive about the new guy who can’t even tell you
what makes him the EQUIVALENT of the incumbent, let alone sell you that he might be better.

The incumbent senator has a good record. I don’t see anything riveting about the challenger.
The challenger's had a long time now to make a case & even the potshots he’s taking have been feeble.

It is a fickle public who helps make this a carnival game.
And a media machine that needs a horse race, even if they have to prop up the trailer.

I only heard a little bit but...

What I heard was McFadden claiming that he'd get into the inner cities and fix the education system. Well, someone should tell McFadden that he's running for a US Senate seat and the Fed's don't run local education systems. If THAT'S his agenda he should move to MPLS or St. Paul and run for school board or mayor. The US senate is about as far away as you can get from being able to run local school systems.

While they're at it, someone should tell McFadden that MN actually voted for Obama in the last election. Obama is NOT an unpopular president in this state. Franken seems to know that and hence doesn't bother to respond seriously to McFadden's attacks on his Obama voting record.

In fact it looks like someone needs to be around on a regular basis to explain basic things to McFadden. What was the point of complaining about not having debates when 3 debates are actually scheduled? McFadden spent a million bucks on an ad that was obsolete, is that his idea of "fiscal responsibility?"

Why is it called a debate???

I don't know why they called it a debate. All McFadden did was make accusations and didn't say anything of substance. The only thing he has tried to do is address Obamacare, but as a person who has dealt with health insurance issues since 1995, it is quite clear to me that McFadden knows less about health insurance than Obama. I can't imagine that anyone would vote for a person whose is claiming that stupidly removing his kids stitches and coaching a group of ten year olds qualifies him for the Senate. This is one Republican who is going to vote for Franken, at least now he has 6 years of experience.

Debate videos and transcripts

For readers who missed the debate or only caught a portion, you can find on-demand videos and transcripts at

As for education issues

The last governor was responsible for how many years? Oh, eight years and our educational system is in need of fixing, especially for minorities. Along with that, there needs to be good paying jobs for minorities. Jobs that pay substantially more than minimum wage. And training that doesn't cost more than they can pay for. And the winner is Franken. And Dayton too of course.