MPR's Cathy Wurzer presses McFadden on why he didn't say whether he agreed with Obama's bombing of Syria: "I don't know. I could have been at a hockey game, I could have been traveling.
We're moving on to immigration. In the absence of an immigration bill, should the President be deporting people who aren't documented. Is that the right thing to do?
Franken goes first: "I wish there would be more judgement used not to deport people" who are working, have family here, who are contributing. Franken says his office has stopped some deportations.
Now McFadden answers: "I think this raises a broader issue for the need of immigration reform...As someone who cares about people, I don't want to separate families. But at the same time, I recognize the law has been broken."
McFadden says he wants to secure the boarder, which includes more fences and more boarder control. MPR's Kerri Miller wants to know if that's more resources and people, McFadden says both.
Franken said he thought deportation policy should have been done by Congress, not through executive order as Obama did. Franken pivots to an amendment of his included in a bill that would require children who come across the boarder have lawyers.
A moment of agreement! Both Franken and McFadden believe immigration reform is critical.
Now the candidates get to ask each other questions. McFadden goes first...
McFadden recalls Franken's partisan past as a comedian and Democratic commentator. "You are the most partisan Senator" in the Senate. How are you going to work in a Republican controlled Senate when you couldn't work across the aisle in a Democratic controlled Senate?
Now Franken gets to ask McFadden a question, and it has to do with net neutrality - the concept that all internet content will be treated the same. The FCC is considering making some content faster than others. "How is it...that you continue to dismiss the importance of an open internet to our 21st century economy."
McFadden says he supports net neutrality. Franken says McFadden has "dismissed" the issue.
New question from the audience: Is there something you agree on with a member of the other party?
Franken points to legislation he's working on with Dean Heller of Nevada that balances Internet privacy and surveillance for national security.
Franken goes on: I agree with Rand Paul (KY Senator son of libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul) on sentencing on mandatory minimums.
McFadden: I'm very concerned about warrant-less searches of U.S. citizens.
Question to Franken: will you vote to reauthorize the Patriot Act? Franken says it's important to protect national security, but he wants the American people to feel comfortable... I didn't hear an answer in there, did you?
McFadden wants to find bipartisanship on education. He says no one is asking about the issue, though MPR's Kerri Miller disagrees.
McFadden brings up his work with Cristo Rey, a Catholic high school in the Twin Cities for underrepresented youth. He wants to see more support for charter schools "As a US Senator, I don't want federal dollars put into a broken school district." McFadden would rather see those dollars put into charter schools.
Franken defends some progress in Minnesota's achievement gap.
So far, Franken and McFadden have said that they agree on immigration, net neutrality, NSA, and some aspects of education policy. But as they say, the devil is in the details....
McFadden: To solve education gap, he wants to see more money into charter schools. Franken: "We have some very successful charter schools, and we have some that aren't very good...I want to make sure that our public schools get what they need."
Now discussing Race to the Top. McFadden says it hasn't been a good return on taxpayer dollars, Franken says there have been some good things, like grants for early childhood education.
Let's talk student loans! McFadden says he wants to see students refinance their loans, and a federal requirement that colleges much disclose where graduates get jobs and how long it takes them.
Franken seems to agree, talking about bills that would require colleges to post a "net cost calculator" that shows how much it will cost students to go there.
Franken also talks about bill that would allow students to refinance their student loans. Again, a moment of agreement, though both candidates are still trying to distinguish themselves from their challenger.
Last question: MPR's Kerri Miller mentions local business Honeywell, which is requiring employees to take tests to assess their health. Is that right?
Franken: "I'm not sure a blood test is the right way to go."
McFadden: "It's [Honeywell's] right" to control their costs. "If [employees] have certain behaviors, it's going to cost more."
That went fast... We're already at closing statements.
Franken: "I know some Minnesotan's didn't know quite what to expect of me, but I think most Minnesotans have seen that I work hard." Farm bill, job training, mental health treatment among the issues he touts. He says he will fight special interests when they go after the middle class.
McFadden: "I believe we can be doing so much better in this country and in this state." We can have great education for students regardless of zip code, energy production expansion, I'll get the EPA out of the farm fields.
If you can't see it, McFadden and Franken are shaking hands, patting each other on the back. All's well that ends well...