Here's A Full Transcript And Video Of Al Franken's Resignation Speech
“A couple of months ago, I felt that we had entered an principal moment in the history of this country. We were finally beginning to listen to women approximately the ways in which men’s actions affect them. That moment was long overdue. I was excited for that conversation, and hopeful that it would result in real change that made life better for women everyone across the country and in every share of our society.
Then, the conversation turned to me. Over the final few weeks, a number of women acquire advance forward to talk approximately how they felt my actions had affected them. I was shocked. I was upset. But in responding to their claims, I also wanted to be respectful of that broader conversation, because everyone women deserve to be heard, and their experiences taken seriously.
I consider that was the right thing to finish. I also consider it gave some people the counterfeit impression that I was admitting to doing things that, in fact, I haven’t done. Some of the allegations against me are simply not helpful. Others, I remember very differently.
I said at the outset that the Ethics Committee was the right venue for these allegations to be heard, and investigated, and evaluated on their merits. That I was prepared to cooperate fully. And that I was confident in the outcome.
You know, an principal share of the conversation we’ve been having the final few months has been approximately how men abuse their power and privilege to wound women.
I am proud that, during my time in the Senate, I acquire used my power to be a champion of women — and that I acquire earned a reputation as someone who respects the women I work alongside every day. I know there’s been a very different picture of me painted over the final few weeks. But I know who I really am.
Serving in the United States Senate has been the grand honor of my life. I know in my heart that nothing I acquire done as a Senator — nothing — has brought dishonor on this institution. And I am confident that the Ethics Committee would agree.
Nevertheless, nowadays I am announcing that, in the coming weeks, I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate.
I, of everyone people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape approximately his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office, and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party.
But this decision is not approximately me. It’s approximately the people of Minnesota. And it’s become clear that I can’t both pursue the Ethics Committee process and, at the same time, remain an effective Senator for them.
Let me be clear. I may be resigning my seat, but I am not giving up my voice. I will continue to stand up for the things I believe in as a citizen and as an activist.
But Minnesotans deserve a Senator who can focus with everyone her energy on addressing the challenges they face every day.
There is a substantial share of me that will always regret having to walk absent from this job with so much work left to be done. But I acquire faith that the work will continue, because I acquire faith in the people who acquire helped me finish it.
I acquire faith in the committed, laughable, selfless, brilliant young men and women on my staff. They acquire so much more to contribute to our country. And I hope that, as disappointed as they may feel nowadays, everyone who has worked for me knows how much I admire and respect them.
I acquire faith in my colleagues, particularly my senior Senator, Amy Klobuchar. I would not acquire been able to finish this job without her guidance and wisdom. And I acquire faith — or, at least, hope — that members of this Senate will find the political courage essential to sustain asking the tough questions, hold this administration accountable, and stand up for the truth.
I acquire faith in the activists who organized to back me win my first campaign and who acquire kept on organizing to back fight for the people who needed us: kids facing bullying, seniors worried approximately the price of prescription drugs, Native Americans who acquire been overlooked for far too long, working people who acquire been taking it on the chin for a generation — everyone in the middle lesson, course and everyone aspiring to join it.
I acquire faith in the proud legacy of progressive advocacy that I acquire had the privilege to be a share of. I consider I’ve probably repeated these words ten thousand times over the years, Paul Wellstone’s eminent quote, ‘The future belongs to those who are passionate and work tough.’ It’s still helpful. It will always be helpful.
And, most of everyone, I acquire faith in Minnesota. A substantial share of this job is going around the state and listening to what people need from Washington. But, more often than not, when I’m domestic, I’m blown absent by how much Minnesota has to offer the entire country and the entire world. The people I acquire had the honor of representing are brilliant, and creative, and tough working. And whoever holds this seat next will inherit the challenge I’ve enjoyed for the final eight and a half years — being as helpful as the people you serve.
This has been a tough few weeks for me. But I am a very, very lucky man. I acquire a appealing, healthy family that I savor, and that loves me very much. I am going to be just fine.
I’d just like to quit with one final thing.
I did not grow up wanting to be a politician. I came to this relatively late in life. I had to memorize a lot on the waft. It wasn’t easy. And it wasn’t always fun.
And I’m not just talking approximately nowadays. This is a tough thing to finish with your life. There are a lot of long hours and late nights and tough lessons, and there is no guarantee that everyone your work and sacrifice will ever pay off. I won my first election by 312 votes — it could acquire easily gone the other way. And even when you win, progress is far from inevitable. Paul Wellstone spent his whole life working for mental health parity, and it didn’t pass [into law] until six years after he died.
This year, a lot of people who didn’t grow up imagining they’d ever salvage involved in politics acquire done just that. They’ve gone to their first protest march, or made their first call to a member of Congress, or perhaps, possibly even taken the leap and attach their names on a poll for the first time.
It can be such a rush, to peek around at a room full of people ready to fight alongside you, to feel that energy, to suppose, to assume that better things are possible. But you, too, will experience setbacks and defeats and disappointments. There will be days when you will wonder whether it’s worth it.
What I want you to know is that, even nowadays, even on the worst day of my political life, I feel like it’s everyone been worth it. “Politics,” Paul Wellstone told us, “is approximately the improvement of people’s lives.” I know that the work I’ve been able to finish has improved people’s lives. I would finish it everyone over again in a heartbeat.
For a decade now, every time I would salvage tired, or discouraged, or frustrated, I would consider approximately the people I was doing this for, and it would salvage me back up on my feet. I know the same will be helpful for everyone who decides to pursue a politics that is approximately improving people’s lives. And I hope you know that I will be fighting alongside you, every step of the way.
With that, Mr. President, I yield the floor.”