Al Franken Chides the Democratic Party: 'We Gotta Stop Riding in Limousines'

Sen. Al Franken's constituents are quite literally crying over Senate Republicans' Obamacare repeal bill, revealed in draft form by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) last week. 


"We're talking about completely going backward," the Minnesota Democrat said in a "Morning Joe" interview Monday. "We're talking about an $880 billion cut [to] Medicaid and matching that with a $900 billion tax cut for the wealthiest Americans."

As a member of the Senate Health Committee and co-chair of the bipartisan Senate Rural Health Caucus, Franken regularly participates in town halls devoted to health care access for Minnesotans. 

"I've gone to rural health meetings in hospitals and nursing homes and clinics people are crying about this [bill]," he explained. "One woman was crying because her mom gets her home health care through Medicaid... and she says she's going to lose that."

Franken also addressed the divide between progressives and moderates in his own part, acknowledging the party needs to win back rural Americans who voted for Donald Trump. 

"How do you change the view that the Democrats are simply 'limousine Democrats'; that the party is in the [pocket] of Wall Street," panelist Eddie Glaude Jr. asked Franken. 

“Well, we gotta stop riding in limousines,” Franken deadpanned. 

“But there’s a presumption, right?" Glaude Jr. pressed. "That the corporate wing of the Democratic Party is no different than corporate Republicans, right?"

“If you’re talking about limousines," Franken pivoted, getting back to the health bill. "How about the top 400 people in terms of tax cuts here. The amount of money they’ll get in tax cuts would pay for Medicaid for 750,000 people.”

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.