McFadden challenges Franken to double their debates

Politics at the Minnesota State Fair
After Republican Mike McFadden challenged DFL Sen. Al Franken to six more debates, a person in a chicken costume appeared at the Republicans' State Fair booth.
Mark Zdechlik/MPR News

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden kicked off the State Fair by challenging Democratic Sen. Al Franken to double the number of their planned debates.

Franken has agreed to meet McFadden in three debates, in addition to the Farm Fest forum they appeared at earlier this month. McFadden wants an additional three.

Someone dressed in a chicken suit stood in front of the Republican State Fair booth Thursday holding a sign that read, "Al Franken too chicken to debate."

The McFadden campaign claims Franken is avoiding debates because he does not want to answer criticism that he votes with the Obama agenda an overwhelming majority of the time. McFadden says several more debates are needed so Minnesotans can make the best decision in the fall election.

"I hope he takes me up on that challenge because I believe the good people of Minnesota deserve to hear my views and my vision for getting this country moving forward, as contrasted to Sen. Franken," McFadden said.

Franken says that he's not afraid to debate and that the three he's agreed to — organized respectively by MPR News, WCCO-TV, and the Duluth News Tribune and Duluth Chamber of Commerce — seem like "the right number."

"At a certain point, if you have so many debates people stop paying attention to them," Franken said.

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