The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

GOP Distorts Franken’s Tribute to Paul Wellstone, Again

Last updated: July 31, 2020 | July 07, 2009 | Henry Hamer

Well, sort of. During the 2008 Senate campaign, Al Franken would often tell a story about Paul Wellstone — who was five-foot-five and perpetually wired — egging on his son to finish a race. Franken would jump up and down, shaking his arm, stage-yelling “You can take this guy! You can take him!” (It’s at 3:01 in this video.)

Former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) repeatedly used the video in ads to make Franken look like a madman. A month before the election, the Franken campaign put out an ad shaming Coleman for the distortion.

Today, the National Republican Senatorial Committee put out a web video informing voters that, with Franken’s arrival in the Senate, the Democrats have total control of Washington. The video they use of Franken? Multiple clips of him telling the Wellstone story, selectively edited to make him look like Lenin.

If you look closely, you can tell that Franken is yelling “You can take this guy!”

Using the worst possible video of a politician is hardly new; the slow-motion greyscale video of a candidate yawning is a staple of the negative ad. But this is a video of Franken telling a story about his dead friend, and it was aired countless times to make a case — Franken’s too crazy to be a senator! — that bombed with Minnesota voters.

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