By Alexander Bolton - 08/05/10 10:00 PM EDT
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) scolded Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) on the Senate floor Thursday for allegedly mocking him while he delivered a solemn speech on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.
The dust-up came seconds after McConnell delivered a speech on Kagan’s nomination shortly before the Senate voted to confirm her to the high court.
The television cameras broadcasting the speech on C-SPAN remained fixed on McConnell, missing Franken’s antics from the Senate president’s chair.
McConnell grew increasingly angry as Franken made fun of him before a crowded public gallery and Senate aides lining the chamber walls. Senate aides said they were shocked that Franken would flout the decorum of the chamber during such a solemn occasion.
After McConnell finished his remarks, he walked up to the dais and rebuked him.
“This is not 'Saturday Night Live,' Al,” McConnell said, making reference to Franken’s career as a writer and actor on NBC’s long-running comedy show, according to a witness who overheard the exchange.
After the vote, Franken walked to McConnell's office to apologize but couldn't find him. He has sent a personal note, instead.
Leader thought I was disrespectful while he was giving his speech on
General Kagan," Franken said in a statement to The Hill. "He is
entitled to give his speech with the presiding officer just listening
respectfully. I went directly to his office after I was done presiding
to apologize in person. He wasn’t there, so I’ve sent him a
Franken, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, voted for Kagan. Thirty-six Republicans, including McConnell, voted against her.
-- This story was updated at 6:30 p.m.