ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Republicans are trying to score political points by highlighting the absence of leading Minnesota Democratic officeholders at President Barack Obama's St. Paul appearance.
Democratic U.S. Reps. Betty McCollum of St. Paul and Keith Ellison of Minneapolis accompanied Obama to Minnesota on board Air Force One. But U.S. Sen. Al Franken did not, citing another commitment.
Minnesota GOP Chairman Keith Downey accused Franken of distancing himself from the president. Franken is running for re-election this fall.
A recent Star Tribune Minnesota Poll put Franken's approval rating in Minnesota at 55 percent, compared with 58 percent for Gov. Mark Dayton and 43 percent for Obama.
Dayton did not attend the event either, because he's recovering from hip surgery.
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