(CNN) – Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee blasted Sen. Ben Nelson in his own backyard over the Nebraska Democrat's decision Saturday to provide the key 60th vote to advance the party's health care reform bill.
In a fiery speech Sunday at an Omaha rally sponsored by Americans for Prosperity of Nebraska - a group opposed to Democratic efforts at health care reform - Huckabee said it is "historic and unprecedented that we are now bribing public officials openly - now we openly bribe them with $300 million at a time and tell them this is what your vote is worth."
The final Democratic holdout, Nelson agreed to back the measure following 13 hours of negotiations during which he won a commitment from the federal government to fund entirely his state's Medicaid population beyond the three years of funding granted to all states by the bill.
Republicans were quick to question Nelson's motivations for backing the bill, dubbing his alleged deal making the "cornhusker kickback," and claiming Nelson's provision has increased the burden on the 49 other states.
"That puts an added burden on all the other states, including mine," Sen. John McCain said "Fox News Sunday."
In an interview with CNN, Nelson said he did not seek any special favors but rather voted for the bill because of an added amendment allowing states to opt out of providing abortion coverage - a provision conservatives say falls far short of the blanket prohibition Nelson originally sought.
"I didn't ask for a special favor here. I didn't ask for a carve-out," Nelson told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. "What I said is the governor of Nebraska has contacted me, he said publicly he's having trouble with the budget. This will add to his budget woes. And I said, look, we have to have that fixed."
But during his comments at the Omaha rally, Huckabee - a 2008 presidential candidate and potential White House hopeful in 2012 - likened Nelson's deal to the biblical story in which Judas agreed to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
"I don't want [senators] to go up there…and then somehow go back and boast, 'Here's some money that I got for you.' The last time we saw that kind of historic moment it was 30 pieces of silver and that didn't work out too well for us either," Huckabee said.
Nothing would give me greater pleasure this holiday season than kicking the teeth out of every "southern cousin" I meet. Go back to sleeping with your cousin you inbred redneck nobody.
Is it not funny that every single republican is trying so hard to disrupt everything the president is trying to do for the good of all american citizen,with their lies and hate mongering.Even Sen.McCain,the outcast of his own party is doing everthing he can to be part of the good ole boys,have sold out to get back in good with Rush whom will never accept John,because of his views not being racial enough for the republican nationalist party which poses as a conservative party.Now Huckabee,a former minister,spewing lies in order to further his dream of being elected president,by using the hate of other toward the president in order to gain thier votes come 2012.What is so sad is,it is not because of his policies that their fighting so hard against,but the president skin color that bother them the most.
Just another corrupt sell-out.
Huckabee is the same guy who had gastric bypass surgery to remove a large amount of blubber from his midsection.
How's that god workin' out for you know, Huckabee? What a moron.
paradox the Resurrection thing is a MYTH. Simply a story to make the man more than a man. $45 million?? sorry this is unacceptable for Amercians.
Remember when Huck pardoned the guy that killed 4 cops? He can fade off into obscurity now. Thanks.
Judge not and be not judged, Mike. By the way , it appears that you have very little grasp on how Washington works. Maybe if you were more concerned about the tactics being used by the good old dirty tricks GOP to attempt to derail health care reform, you could could be taken a little more seriously. Universal health care is a moral issue Huckabee, not an economic one. As is the case with most bible thumpers, when there is money on the table, morals are quickly forgotten.
I'm glad so many of you are so eager that the rest of us have to pay for Nebraska's Medicaid system. Why didn't my senator get a few hundred million for our state? After all, it's going to cost us far more than that.
Oh please! How is this even close?
This Democrat took an opportunity to get something for his state when he saw he had the chance.
Issues should not include ammendment or pork, but fair game.
As for abortion, he is still a Democrat. He should be voting the party line tht is why poeple elected him.
Another perplexing stance by a republican-christian. Why is it that some christians like to blame the jews and Judas for the death of Jesus? Think of all the death and distruction this hate-mongering, blame game has caused. If Jesus had not been crucified we'd have no Christianity, right? Lets get it right, Huck! Stick to the beautiful messages in the teachings of Jesus, and maybe – together – we'll solve some of our huge domestic issues.
The same hypocrite Christian responsible for the deaths of four police officers...shame on you Huckabee!