Franken Blasts Axelrod over Healthcare

Friday, 05 Feb 2010 12:34 PM

By Dan Weil

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Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., lambasted White House senior adviser David Axelrod several days ago in a private meeting with Senate Democrats, Politico reports.

Five people present at the meeting told the news service that Franken was upset with the administration’s lack of leadership on healthcare and other major initiatives.

He and others believe the Obama administration should have done more to gain public support for healthcare, cap and trade and the like.

Democratic senators also are perturbed that the White House hasn’t set a clear path for healthcare reform in the wake of Scott Brown’s victory in the Massachusetts Senate race.

In a meeting with Senate Democrats earlier in the week, Obama urged them to “finish the job” on healthcare, but didn’t give them any direction on how to do so.

The sources said that while Franken was the most vociferous critic of the White House, he wasn’t alone. One senator said, “There was a lot of frustration in there.” Another agreed: “People were hot.”

Franken, a former comedian and liberal radio talk show host, has proven to be one of the more outspoken Senators, despite his vow to keep a low profile after winning a close 2008 election.

As for healthcare, one Senate Democrat has criticized Obama publicly.

Sen. Sherrod Brown told Huffington Post, "The president was weighing in pretty heavily on the discussions between the House and Senate before the Massachusetts special election. It's dried up since."

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