Cardin Dodges on Whether Democrats Were 'Foolish' to Pressure Franken Into Resigning

December 18, 2017

Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin (Md.) dodged a question Monday about whether Senate Democrats were "foolish" to pressure Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn) into announcing his resignation next month after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

MSNBC's Katy Tur ended their interview by playing an audio clip of Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) slamming Democrats for pressuring Franken to resign, calling their decision "atrocious."

"The most hypocritical thing I’ve ever seen done to a human being—and then have enough guts to sit on the floor, watch him give his speech and go over and hug him? That’s hypocrisy at the highest level I’ve ever seen in my life. Made me sick," Manchin said.

Following the audio clip, Tur asked Cardin to react to Manchin's comments.

"My reaction to Senator Franken is he made a decision which he thought was best for his constituents and himself," Cardin said. "He recognized that his behavior was wrong. He took full responsibility for it. He believed that a long ethics investigation would compromise his ability to represent his constituents and he made that judgment."

Tur pushed back and said Franken didn't make the announcement about resigning "in the coming weeks" until multiple Senate Democrats called for him to resign after a seventh accuser came forward against him.

She followed up by asking Cardin whether he thought it was "foolish" for the Democratic Party to pressure Franken that way.

"I think Senator Franken made the judgment he thought was right. Each individual senator takes responsibility—" Cardin said before Tur cut him off.

She said Cardin wasn't answering her question and then asked him again whether he thought the Democrats were foolish to pressure Franken into resigning.

"You have to ask each member who made statements on their own behalf on Senator Franken. They have to take responsibility for their actions. Senator Franken took responsibilities for his actions," Cardin said.