On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh mentioned Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) and the “senator who replaced Ted Stevens” -- Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) -- while listing senators who he said joined the Senate despite having received “no votes” and who also voted on November 21 to begin debate on the health care reform bill. In fact, both Begich and Franken won their Senate seats in general elections in 2008.
From the November 23 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: Let's see, who voted for this? Robert Byrd from a stretcher, practically. Tim Johnson, who we're never even allowed to hear talk because he hasn't recovered from his stroke. That stooge senator who replaced Ted Kennedy. How many votes did he get? Zero. The senator who replaced Ted Stevens [Begich]. Al Franken. And that moral paragon, of course, Roland W. Burris. And the guy from Colorado. Look at these -- who? Michael Bennet, that's right, Michael Bennet of Colorado. That's the Democrat who was appointed to replace Ken Salazar. A lot of “no votes.” A lot of “no votes” guys, and here they are voting on something like this. [The Rush Limbaugh Show, 11/23/09]
Fact: Both Franken and Begich won Senate seats in 2008
Contrary to Limbaugh's suggestion that Franken and Begich received “no votes,” both men became senators after winning general elections in 2008. Begich won his race in Alaska with 151,767 votes to defeat Republican Sen. Ted Stevens, who received 147,814 votes. After a recount, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that Franken received a final tally of 1,212,629 votes to unseat Republican Sen. Norm Coleman by 312 votes.