Gore campaigns for Senate candidate Franken

  • Article by: PATRICK CONDON , Associated Press
  • Updated: October 4, 2008 - 7:51 PM

MINNEAPOLIS - All Democrats need to do well in next month's election is for voters to consider the state of the country after the past eight years, Vice President Al Gore said Saturday as he campaigned for U.S. Senate candidate Al Franken.

Ticking off the state of the economy, the decision to invade Iraq, the lack of what he believes is significant government action on climate change and other issues, Gore blamed "the people who have been in charge in the White House and their supporters in the Senate.

"It's time to kick them out of there. It's not that complicated," Gore said at a fundraiser for Franken's campaign and DFL candidates held at the University of Minnesota. Organizers said about 1,500 people attended.

Franken, in turn, called Gore "the greatest president we should have had," and said he was running "because 5 million Minnesotans have seen their country veer off track under George Bush and Norm Coleman."

With one month until Election Day, Franken and other Democrats urged DFL faithful to work hard to register new voters, convince their friends and neighbors to vote Democrat and get supporters to the polls.

"I need you to get a bumper sticker, and not cut anyone off for the next 31 days," Franken said. "After that, you can do what you like."

Gore and Franken, the former "Saturday Night Live" comedian, referred to each other as longtime friends. Gore said he urged Franken long ago to enter politics because "he's not really funny."

Then Gore added: "It's a joke, Al."

In response to the event, Coleman's campaign brandished a 12-year-old example of Gore apparently not finding one Franken joke funny.

In 1996, Franken spoke at a Washington Correspondents Dinner where Franken made a joke at the expense of then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich and his daughter.

According to coverage at the time, Gore said he wished he'd walked out after Franken's joke.

"Today's photo-op won't change the fact that Franken's nasty and harsh attack politics are wrong for Minnesota," Coleman's campaign manager, Cullen Sheehan, said in a statement released by the campaign.

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