Robert Duetsch/USA TODAY

Democratic Sen. Al Franken: Republicans on Minnesota Vikings better play well

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) is a big Minnesota Vikings fan, but he’s hoping that even those Vikings that are Republicans play well.

Democratic senator Al Franken made his annual trip to Minnesota Vikings training camp and heard it, again, from veteran linebacker Chad Greenway.

Franken and his son are big Vikings fans and were sitting in the plush golf cart of General Manager Rick Spielman on the sideline when Greenway quipped to Franken, “Lower my damn taxes, please.”

Franken said he’s heard that line from Greenway regularly.

“Chad and I have a running thing, which is I get here, he sees me and he basically says, ‘Don’t raise my taxes.’ That gives (me) more determination to raise taxes on people of his salary range,” Franken said. “It’s a great relationship. He’s fabulous and I think he’s meant a lot to the Vikings and I’m glad he’s in his last year.”

Greenway’s quick wit and Franken’s comedic background make for a fun dynamic, but they likely have differing political leanings.

“Yeah, he seems like a Republican,” Franken admitted after Friday morning’s walk-through. “I said, ‘This is my last year to raise your taxes’ and I meant that he’s only got one year left (earning an NFL salary) and he thought it meant that I was leaving the senate or something. He said, ‘No, no. I’ll vote for you next time.’ That seemed odd. That didn’t seem right. I’m a huge Vikings fans and if you’re playing well, you can be a Republican in my book. But you’d better play well.”

Franken played along nicely with the line of questioning, but he said he’s cautiously optimistic about this year’s team – emphasizing that caution is part of being a Vikings fan.

“It’s a very exciting team. We’re looking very good this year,” Franken said.

“This is the most optimistic I’ve allowed myself to be in a long time. I’m not counting on going all the way. No Vikings fan ever is, but I think Minnesotans are very excited about this team – Vikings fans are very excited this team. There’s Vikings fans all over the place, by the way.”


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