Coleman says people have a big choice to make

Published 9:29 am Thursday, August 7, 2008

Minnesotans have a big choice to make when it comes to who to pick for the U.S. Senate seat, said U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman during a campaign stop in Albert Lea Wednesday. This is because along with the choice of who to pick for the U.S. Senate seat also comes several choices on the line like the future of energy, terrorism and even family farms.

“Our choice is the choice of Americans,” Coleman said.

The war of the words between Coleman and U.S. Senate candidate Al Franken continued Wednesday during Coleman’s campaign stop at Albert Lea’s Lakeside Cafe & Creamery. A large crowd was in attendance to hear the senator.

Email newsletter signup

He touched mainly on issues of health care and energy relief.

He said he’s never seen times like the American public are facing now, with people constantly worried about health care and rising energy prices. They are looking for a leader to alleviate these problems, he said.

For energy relief, part of the answer is in our own backyard, he said. And America should also expand its opportunity to drill.

“We need to produce more and consume less,” he said. “It’s pretty easy.”

Celebrity Paris Hilton gets that message, he said, referring to a recent video she released in response to a campaign ad comparing presidential candidate Barack Obama to celebrities like Britney Spears and Hilton.

“It’s not rocket science,” Coleman said.

Coleman said to Franken: If he can’t stand up for an issue like energy, which has had the American public in an uproar, then how is he going to be able to stand up on a smaller issue that may not be getting as much attention?

He asked the crowd if they would rather vote for a candidate like himself who has a long-term vision, who is positive and who believes in American goodness, or would they rather vote for someone who tears things down and throws “gas on the fire” like comedian Al Franken.

“That’s not what America needs today,” Coleman said.

He encouraged people to go out and knock on doors and make phone calls to spread his message.

He cited Benjamin Franklin: “Hang together or we most certainly will hang separately.”

He referenced his prior experience in the position saying, “ I have been there. I have been here so many times.

“I really need you and America needs you,” Coleman said. “I’m nothing without you.”

Andy Barr, communications spokesperson for Franken’s campaign, said Coleman is attacking Franken because he knows his record of supporting President George W. Bush is taking him away from constituents.

Barr cited a previous Star Tribune editorial from July of 2004, which called Coleman “an attack dog for President Bush.”

It said: “The senator has morphed into an attack dog for President Bush, and in the process he has demeaned the U.S. Senate and embarrassed many of his constituents.”