December 21st, 2009
10:22 AM ET
7 months ago

Huckabee compares Nelson to Judas

Huckabee says Nelson was bribed into voting for the Democrats' health care bill.
Huckabee says Nelson was bribed into voting for the Democrats' health care bill.

(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.


Filed under: Ben Nelson • Mike Huckabee
soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. Bob Dog

    Helping sick people is a betrayal of Jesus Christ?

    Mr. Huckabee must have read a different Bible than the one I did.

    December 21, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  2. 2PACOLYPSENOW

    Is this the same wacko Huckabee who pardoned a known and extremely dangerous criminal who just weeks ago, went on a crime terror killing spree, and he's comparing somebody to Judas? Look, I have absolutely no love for Ben Nelson and Senator Konrad and Mary Landrieux and all the Blue puppy dogs watering down this bill to absolutely nothing but for Huckabee and McLame, who they and their party offered no solutions to anything this entire year have no business publicly criticizing anything. What, are they gonna wait till midterms to actually forge a plan of some sort of just sit around in office and do nothing like they did for 8 years. To heck with both parties if you ask me.

    December 21, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  3. GOODGREIF

    I work in healthcare billing. I can assure anyone who thinks that Medicare and Medicaid works great are mistaken. It is a big beaurocracy that unfortunately private carriers follow. The governemt has already started rationing. Medicare is cutting cardiologist payments for test that otherwise can save lives (this does not include the cuts that are supposed to take affect Jan, that is an addltional 25%) . And, no, cardiologist are not surgeons, they do not make a bundle of money. People need to wake up and realize something is terribly wrong here. Read Clower and Piven....looks very familiar. Not to mention, the new healthcare bill will severely penalize married couples in premiums.

    December 21, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  4. gl, From Pittsburgh

    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.

    Great move for Nelson State. Now I want Ed Rendale to do the same for my State. The Senior in Nelson State will love him for this move. I really don't care about the will and dealing from the Sentors as long as it benefit the people and this negotiation to me benefited the people in Nelson State.

    December 21, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  5. S Callahan- This is the 4th Week of Advent, light the candle for LOVE

    It's refreshing to see CNN use Biblcal assocations as headlines..now your're getting it! :-)

    I think he did 'sell' out...but he has one reserve left..so lets see

    December 21, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  6. Todd in Nebraska

    The only reason Senator Nelson had to play "Let's Make A Deal" is because the GOP, including Nebraska's other Senator....Mike Johanns....have contributed NOTHING to the health care debate or, for that matter, to any of the crises facing our nation.

    Kudos to Senator Nelson!

    December 21, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  7. FM

    Does Huckabee understand that Nelson is not a Republican, he is a democrat. If the republicans stick together, why not Nelson stick with his fellow democrats? Huckabee is becoming useless each day which go by!

    December 21, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  8. Huckabee is correct

    Huckabee is on target with his assessment; the Judas mantle ought to be extended to Liberman as well, and likley 20-30 other "pay for my vote" Democrats. The Obama administration is turning into one of the most secretive, corrupt, and destructive administrations in our country's history. This is what happens whn you give control over all three branches of government to a single party, and them elect as its leader a community organizer with absolutely squat for experience in "anything" other thanreading speeches.

    December 21, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  9. buckeye

    Votes for sale, auctions masquerading as elections, bribes, kickbacks, ad nauseum. This is government of, for and by the people?!

    December 21, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  10. gl, From Pittsburgh

    Why do the Republicans party only go on Fox to talk their mess? HYPOCRITES! President Obama and his Adminstration was right when they called Fox News out about being the mouth piece for the Republicans party. Fox News = Right wing news media!

    December 21, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  11. patNY

    The idea that this wack job, Huckleberry, could have been president, is even more scary than ever! BTW – Huckster, lay off the ding dongs, you're gaining your weight back!

    December 21, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  12. John

    Huckabee...why didn't you cry fowl when McCain was running against you in the primary. After all, he was convivcted of taking REALbribes. And someday soon, your own dirty laundry will be hung out for all to see.

    December 21, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  13. Ron in California

    This is an example of how much this bill is going to cost the American People. Sure getting people kealth coverage is a noble cause, there has got to be a better way. We know of the outrageous deals Like Nelson's and Landriuex's but how amny other deals do we not know about. It's all about the money....everyone is lining their pockets at the expense of the taxpayer.

    December 21, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  14. Obama Mama

    Mike Huckabee cannot be serious. He needs to jump down off his holier than though cross. I'm sure he has many many skeletons in his closet and don't need to throw any stones.

    December 21, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  15. Me Down South

    So if he's Judas... does that make the Republicans Jesus? Uh, I don't think so!

    December 21, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  16. Bill or Vin from Philly

    I'm a life long Democrat soon to be Independent who agrees with Huckabee because he Nelson also sold out the working people in this country to the insurance industry. now Wal Mart will tell it's minimum wage employees that they have to buy insurance if they could afford or not and there off the hook

    No Public option = no more Democrat

    December 21, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  17. Tarheel

    I guess we know the price of Nelson surrendering the Abortion Issue so easily. I wonder how many abortions that money will buy in the next ten years. If Nelson is sincerely against abortion, he should have a hard time living with his decision.

    December 21, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  18. Larry S

    Lies, Lies, lies is all we hear from the liberal clan following Obie, Harry and Nancy. It is a shame we do not have congressmen following the desires of the voters. The liberal get on TV and continue to spew lies . . . why are they willing to keep telling lies??? Surely they are not that lacking in intelligence.

    December 21, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  19. victim of the false prophet OBAMA

    the biggest winner in this vote was the University of Connecticut which could be the beneficiary of $100 million for construction of a hospital inserted at the behest of Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut.....BRIBERY or just liberals at work ???

    December 21, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  20. Tarheel

    It seems like all the Senators from the other states would threaten to not vote for the Health Care Bill unless they got a sweetheart Deal also.

    December 21, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  21. Death Panel Sarah

    Hey Huckster....
    Go back to your money job at FAUX news...Nobody believes you anymore after appearing on that hack show!!!

    December 21, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  22. Okey

    Suprising how learned Christians continue to vilify Judas. Judas should have been a saint. Without him your sins would remain with you and you will die bearing the burden of these sins. You will then, by the tenents of your belief go to hell.

    Judas saved your from all that, he caused Jesus to die for you and wash away your sins. So Mr (or is it Pastor or Reverend or Minister ) Huckabee, less politiking and more "bible reading".

    Go back and lead your flock preacherman.

    December 21, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  23. Ben in Texas

    If we're making Christmas references here, like Huckleberry, maybe we should label the Repugnant Party as the Ebenezer Scrooge Party. He, like them, was happy with children dying due to lack of care to decrease the excess population.

    The only difference I can see is that the Repugnants want to make sure that poor women are forced to endure the danger, pain and expense of unwanted pregnancies so that the resulting children are born before being allowed to die from lack of health care.

    December 21, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  24. Chumley

    Sounds more like extortion than bribery. Either way, Nelson is garbage.

    December 21, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  25. A Red state and blue state economy

    Our country is moving more and more to a blue state and red state economy. Pretty soon federal income taxes will be different for red and blue states depending on who is in control. Medicare and medicaid benefits will next be auctioned off. Federal gas taxes will be pro ratds based on party affiliation. This is the most disturbing and destructive trend I have ever seen in my life. Obama will go down as the President who split the nation. Watch for the first state secession vote.

    December 21, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
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