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Sen. Al Franken says on Sunday show he was "always a serious person"

Posted by: Allison Sherry under Morning Hot Dish newsletter, Minnesota U.S. senators, Democrats Updated: May 5, 2014 - 11:42 AM

WASHINGTON -- In his first Sunday show appearance, Sen. Al Franken told ABC News that he feels comfortable running as a Democrat this November even though President Obama's approval ratings hover in the low 40s.

Franken acknowledged that the rollout of the new health care law -- which is plaguing Senate Democrats in a number of other states -- was "pretty disastrous" but that he hasn't tried to distance himself from the law like other candidates have.

Franken, who is generally shy in the national media glare, said he liked both jobs -- being a senator and "making people laugh" and that even though he is often funny in committee hearings and in town halls, he's "always been a serious person."

"People who are funny are very often very serious people and visa versa," he said on the show This Week with George Stephanopolous.

Franken faces two leading GOP challengers state Sen. Julianne Ortman and businessman Mike McFadden. Franken holds a comfortable double-digit lead and has almost $6 million in the bank.

He said when he won by a scant 312 votes in 2008, he wanted to come to D.C. and hunker down and work hard.

"I think I felt that I wanted to prove to all Minnesotans that I was going to work for them," he said.


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