Star Tribune ruffles feathers by not endorsing Mike McFadden in primary election

McfaddenAbeler.jpg
McFadden (left); Abeler (right)
Abeler's willingness to compromise with Dems and his record of getting things done gives him the nod over McFadden, the Strib argues.
This morning, the Star Tribune editorial board endorsed dark horse candidate Jim Abeler in the GOP U.S. Senate primary that will take place August 12.

The endorsement was somewhat surprising, as Mike McFadden has been the overwhelming favorite to emerge from the primary and move on to challenge Al Franken since he received the MNGOP endorsement a couple months ago. But the Strib editorial board "urge[s] voters to look beyond the money race and folksy TV commercials and consider Abeler's admirable record of fiscally conservative and independent-minded service to Minnesota."

See also:
Mike McFadden scrubs negative Facebook comments, fills void with positivity from intern

Abeler, a veteran state representative serving a district that includes portions of Anoka County, receives praise from the Strib for being one of six Republicans to override then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty's veto of a gas tax increase in 2008, and for leading a successful effort to cut state health care costs back in 2011.

While noting McFadden and Abeler are more similar than they are different, the Strib concludes, "Given the complexities of health care and entitlement reform -- and the need for more bipartisan collaboration in Washington -- Abeler is the better choice for Republican primary voters."

The Strib's endorsement of the underdog was quickly seized upon by the DFL, who have been taking regular shots at McFadden all year long in the expectation he'll ultimately be the Republican who challenges Franken. The party distributed a press release entitled, "Monday Morning Blues for McFadden." In fact, they tried to turn it into a hashtag: As McFadden spokesman Tom Erickson later pointed out, the Strib's endorsement wasn't the only significant one announced today: Other Republicans, meanwhile, expressed skepticism about the Strib's motivations: But it should be noted the paper is now owned by Republican Glen Taylor, who didn't try to hide the fact he plans to move the Strib to the right during an interview he did right after the purchase was announced this spring.

We contacted Erickson to get an official response to the Strib's endorsement. Here's what he said:
Since day one we have been focused on holding Al Franken accountable for voting with President Obama 97% of the time. Our focus on the general election is what helped Mike secure key endorsements from the Republican Party of Minnesota and the US Chamber of Commerce.
In other words, McFadden's camp believes it has bigger fish to fry than Jim Abeler. And while Erickson and company are probably right to believe McFadden has little to worry about next Tuesday, the Strib's endorsement does at least reflect the fact that McFadden's debut campaign has been a rocky one so far.

Send your story tips to the author, Aaron Rupar. Follow him on Twitter @atrupar.






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38 comments
Kitty Fernandes
Kitty Fernandes

Most Republicans have a snowballs chance in hell of winning in a state wide election.

Lonny Roseland
Lonny Roseland

If the Star Tribune endorses a GOP candidate, you can be sure he is the WORST possible GOP candidate! It's like if City Pages endorsed a GOP candidate, you can be sure that GOP candidate is the most LIBERAL! Duh!

Onan
Onan

An endorsement by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shouldn't really be anything to crow about seeing as they are the largest big business lobbying organizations in the US.

Want to know who is a puppet for big business? Check out those endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

HotKarlMalone
HotKarlMalone

So if Romney couldn't get to 45% in the state in 2012 in Minnesota, why is the MN GOP trotting out a clone to take on Al instead of just putting cash into a liberal 3rd party candidate?

charlieheinz57
charlieheinz57

No more Mr. Sparkling Teeth. Instead, the paper endorses a slob. He looks like one of the derelicts that sleep in the booths at the Uptown McDs.

Joe Green
Joe Green

Depressing that the ST would endorse any of these depressing entities.

Andrew Hine
Andrew Hine

Well, it's there. It's so subliminal and sporty that the viewer thinks he's a patriot without even knowing why! (Can't upload screenshot to this page, though)

Shayne O'Neil
Shayne O'Neil

Just seen the commercial, didn't see the jersey you speak of.

Jerm Wobbe
Jerm Wobbe

Teabagger....cool cover photo, I love The Shining.

Jerm Wobbe
Jerm Wobbe

Mike Mclean....no, I came across it on the internets somewhere.

Teabagger
Teabagger

Really have to love the right wing answers to fixing healthcare. Bartering with chickens, using scissors, or just going without. Now that's what I call 'Freedumb', baby! Gawd Bliss 'Murica

Teabagger
Teabagger

Doubtful. We didn't come up with our name either. The 'know it all' right wing did. Such well thought out individuals that they are.

misterrosewater
misterrosewater

With a name like McFadden, I'd think chain-store restaurants would be a logical choice rather than pubic office.  Come for the deep fried onion blossom!  Stay for the boneless ribs!  Tuesdays at McFadden's!

Drizzay
Drizzay

Something tells me his son was better at yachting than he was at hockey.

Mike McLean
Mike McLean

Republitard - That's clever. Did you come up with that on your own??

truckmeyer
truckmeyer

I think McFadden likes getting hit in the nuts by little boys. It's like a fetish. Having his own kid doing it, and then broadcasting it on TV probably just makes it more kinky for him.

Kevin Slator
Kevin Slator

Your own kid, pretending to slug you in the "store" in a political TV ad: not funny. Giving the "I approved this message" line in a high voice in the TV ad after you own kid pretends to slug you in the store: also not funny. Time for a new ad agency.

Andrew Hine
Andrew Hine

I had to laugh at the recent McFadden TV ad featuring his son. "Dad's cheap..." or something, with a $500 framed USA Olympic Hockey sweater hanging in the background.

Jerm Wobbe
Jerm Wobbe

"I'm Mike Mcfadden, and I'm a Republitard".

Bob Alberti
Bob Alberti

Because we can remove our own damn sutures! *eyeroll*

Mike McLean
Mike McLean

Doesn't the Strib normally select GOP candidates that they feel can be beat by the DFL???

Jason Thor Carle
Jason Thor Carle

But, he is bringing his scissors to Washington to cut the ACA (Obamacare...) *eyeroll...

Frank
Frank

I like the McFadden ad featuring his son explaining how cheap dad is...surrounded by an expensive table hockey game in an expensive home that 96% of Minnesotans wouldn't be able to afford.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

mike mcfadden look like a gay dentist 

ron.fresquez
ron.fresquez topcommenter

I think the most vulnerable is the Governor but even that is a stretch.

ron.fresquez
ron.fresquez topcommenter

@HotKarlMalone Because the MN Regressive Party and MN Regressives are not the sharpest knives in the drawer. Remember, there is a reason why the Democrats control the House, Senate and the Governors Mansion. It is the same reason why MN Regressives were kicked to the curb like common roadside trash in the last few elections.

Onan
Onan

@charlieheinz57 John Edwards was a "glamour boy" and that guy turned out to be a complete douchebag. Don't judge a book by its cover.

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