After more than three minutes and repeated questions, Senator Al Franken (D., Minn.) still would not say whether he supported a travel ban from Ebola-stricken countries. When first asked, Franken called a ban “insufficient” in dealing with the problem.
“Your opponent has been very clear — he says he wants a travel ban,” one of the moderators asked. “You’ve said it should be considered, but you’re concerned about getting aid workers in or out. Which is it? Do you support a travel ban or not?”
Franken went on to criticize the CDC’s response in Dallas, and said he has taken steps to make sure Minnesota hospitals are properly equipped to deal with Ebola.
“But what about the travel ban though?” one moderator asked. “Will you just answer that one?” the other one added.
“We want to do the most rational, effective thing to keep people safe in Minnesota,” the senator responded. He then said that he has met with state officials about the issue, prompting the anchors to press him once again about the travel ban.
“I have nothing against a travel ban from west Africa,” Franken said. “What I’m saying is it is totally insufficient.”
“Does that mean you’re for it?” the moderator asked.
“It is totally insufficient,” he repeated, and then explained that he is working to make the Minneapolis airport capable of screening and tracking travelers who may have Ebola.
His Republican challenger, businessman Mike McFadden, called Franken out for failing to provide “straight talk” on the issue. “I just listened to both of you ask Al Franken three times what his answer was, and he didn’t answer it,” McFadden said. “That is the problem with politics right now.”