August 02, 2017

Sen. Al Franken teaches Stephen Colbert how to 'pivot,' talks McCain's 'no' vote

Sen. Al Franken went into teacher mode during his appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" Tuesday night by giving a quick lesson in the art of "pivoting."

Franken appeared on the CBS talk show to promote his newest book, "Al Franken, Giant of the Senate," when host Colbert asked the Democratic senator who represents Minnesota what's "the weirdest political skill [he's] had to learn."

"Pivoting," Franken quickly responded. "Pivoting is not answering a question and just pivoting."

Franken admitted that he wasn't too good at the task when he started in politics, but Colbert tested Franken out, giving him the mission of promoting his book instead of answering a few questions he had up his sleeve head-on. 

Spoiler: He did well.

“If North Korea continues to advance its missile program, Sen. Franken, should we take military action?” Colbert asked.

“You know, in my book, Steve, I write about the importance of level-headed leadership, which is why I am terrified of [Donald] Trump,” Franken said.

Colbert then asked Franken, who is being looked at as a possible Democratic candidate in the 2020 presidential race, if he plans to run.

“You know, in my book, Stephen, 'Al Franken: Giant of the Senate,' I talk about the importance of level-headed leadership,” the senator responded.


Colbert and Franken discussed a few other topics Tuesday night, including Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, senators who have a sense of humor and, of course, the dramatic moment when Republican Sen. John McCain voted "no" on a GOP-led health care bill last week.

Franken said he had a suspicion on how McCain would cast his vote.

"What was interesting was that there was applause, partly from the gallery. I was looking at Sen. McCain and I think partly from staff and Chuck Schumer just went," Franken said as he motioned his hand to the side, signaling for silence. "And everyone stopped because we didn't want to gloat and we shouldn't gloat. This is serious, serious stuff."

Watch the clip below: