Al Franken: Democrats ‘gotta stop riding in limousines’

Dylan Stableford
Senior Editor

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., says the Democratic Party has a clear messaging problem.

Franken was asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday how members of “the corporate wing” of the party might be able to erase the “limousine Democrat” image in the minds of some voters.

“We gotta stop riding in limousines,” Franken replied.

But the comedian and former “Saturday Night Live” star quickly pivoted to an attack on the GOP health care bill, which would slash Medicaid for millions of Americans and cut taxes for the wealthy.

“If you’re talking about limousines, how about the top 400 people in terms of tax cuts here?” Franken said. “The amount of money they’ll get in tax cuts would pay for Medicaid for 750,000 people.”

Franken then cited a recent survey in the New England Journal of Medicine which concluded that for every 750,000 people who lose Medicaid coverage, 1,000 to 2,000 people will die.

Related: CBO likely to say millions lose coverage under Senate health care bill

“So that means you are killing one to two thousand people — killing them!” Franken said. “Basically, people on Medicaid have better health care outcomes; they have access to a doctor. They don’t have to have catastrophic costs; they don’t go bankrupt. This works and it saves lives.”

The senator used the same term former President Barack Obama used to describe the Senate Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.

“This is mean,” Franken said, adding: “This is worse than mean — it is cruel.”

Earlier in the interview, Franken gave President Trump credit for tapping the vein of an electorate eager for a non-politician to “tear” the Washington, D.C., establishment apart.

“They wanted somebody different,” Franken said. “And, you know, every once in a while, he would hit [on] something. You know, when he said in South Carolina, that George W. Bush lied us into the war, remember how shocked everyone [was] that someone would say that in a Republican debate — especially in South Carolina, a military state? And everyone said, ‘Yeah!'”

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