'May I rephrase that?': Rick Perry gives Al Franken awkwardly suggestive compliment during confirmation hearing
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry gave Sen. Al Franken an awkwardly suggestive compliment during his confirmation hearing to lead the Department of Energy.
After Franken thanked Perry for meeting him in his office before the hearing, Perry attempted to compliment him.
"I hope you are as much fun on that dais as you were on your couch," Perry said.
"Uh, well," Franken said, trailing off as attendees in the room began to laugh.
"May I rephrase that, sir?" Perry said.
"Please, please. Oh my lord," Franken said.
"I think we've found our Saturday Night Live sound-byte," Perry replied.
Watch the clip below via CBS:
Following the joke, Franken asked Perry about the whether he believed Department of Energy played a role in helping create and fund technologies that improve energy production, and emphasized the economic benefits of clean energy.
"I don't want this idea of the economy and addressing climate change are at odds at all," Franken said, citing Texas' emerging wind economy.
The Democratic senator from Minnesota also pressed Perry on human responsibility for climate change, a line of questioning that Perry dodged.
"Far be it for me to be sitting before you today and claiming to be a climate scientist, I will not do that," Perry said.
Frank responded: "I don't think you'll ever be a climate scientist, but you're going to be the head of the Department of Energy."
While Republicans largely praised Perry's "all-of-the-above" energy position, many Democrats homed in on reports that the incoming administration wanted to make major cuts to the Department of Energy, eliminating a number of research initiatives dedicated to clean energy.
"It's hard to see how we can pursue an all-of-the-above-strategy if so much of the department's all-of-the-above capabilities are eliminated," Sen. Mazie Hirono said.
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