Sen. Al Franken’s Republican challenger made a case Saturday for a power shift in the upper chamber, using the GOP’s weekly address to bash Democrats’ regulatory and education policies.

Mike McFadden, who is seen as having an uphill battle in his bid to unseat the Minnesota Democrat, accused the majority party of failed leadership in the years following the Great Recession.


“President Obama and Senate Democrats have had their chance to turn our economy around, but all we’re doing is running in place. We can do better,” McFadden said.

“This November presents a tremendous opportunity for America to elect new leaders, with the vision to turn our country around, and get us back onto the path of growth and prosperity.” 

McFadden said the Obama administration and congressional Democrats have presided over a regulatory agenda that has stifled the recovery. He cited a major Minnesota copper and nickel-mining project that has been stalled while its proponents await approval from seven regulatory agencies, “which is crazy.”

“I believe there’s a better way,” he added. “Through smarter regulation and a little common sense, we can develop our natural resources in a way that creates jobs and protects the environment.”

McFadden touted his years of work with a Minnesota inner-city school, where incoming freshman are one or two grade levels behind. The school, which has adopted its own specialized curriculum, now boasts a 100-percent graduation rate, he said.

“We care enough to develop a curriculum that conforms to our own standards – not a one-size-fits-all approach from Washington,” he said.

Political handicappers list Minnesota’s contested Senate seat as leaning in Franken’s favor, but Republicans have insisted that the McFadden could make the race competitive. 

McFadden said Americans are hungry for new leadership.

“Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes. But when it comes to the challenges working families are facing, all we get from Democrats is 10,000 excuses.