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GOP criticizes video, Franken apologizes

ST. PAUL — U.S. Sen. Al Franken’s election opponent is trying to make a campaign issue out of a video shot two years ago showing the senator holding two traffic cones to his chest, apparently to imitate a woman’s breasts.

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“It was a thoughtless moment and I regret it,” Democrat Franken told Forum News Service of the 2012 incident, which he did not know was being videotaped.

Republican challenger Mike McFadden said the incident is proof that Franken should not be re-elected.

“We can do so much better with our leaders,” McFadden said, adding that Franken has made other “sexist and outrageous and offensive” statements.

When he was first running six years ago, Franken apologized for “Saturday Night Live” skits in which he participated or wrote.

“As a father, as a coach, as a business leader, as a Minnesotan, I expect so much more out of our leaders and our U.S. senators,” McFadden said.

However, Franken said that voters should not make a decision based on his “thoughtless moment.”

“I think you have to judge me on my record on women with what I have done as a senator,” he said, adding that he has “fought” for equal pay for women, to make sure women are not charged more for health care and against the Hobby Lobby court case that means “bosses can determine whether or not a women gets contraception.”

The McFadden camp also has criticized Franken for ducking the media, as reported in a National Journal article.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.