December 30th, 2009
02:56 PM ET
7 months ago

Nelson launches TV ad defending vote

Sen. Ben Nelson released an ad Wednesday defending his vote to block a Republican filibuster of the health care bill.
Sen. Ben Nelson released an ad Wednesday defending his vote to block a Republican filibuster of the health care bill.

(CNN) – Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, the conservative Senate Democrat who provided the party with the 60th vote needed to prevent a Republican filibuster of the health care bill, is defending his move in an a television ad set to air Wednesday.

The ad, to run during the sure-to-be highly rated University of Nebraska's Holiday Bowl game Wednesday night, features Nelson himself directly explaining to constituents why he voted for the measure the recent polls of have suggested is unpopular with most Nebraskans.

According to the Lincoln Journal-Star, Nelson will tell constituents he worked hard to improve the controversial bill before committing to be the Democrats' crucial 60th vote.

"Now it lowers costs for families and small business, protects Medicare, finally guarantees coverage for pre-existing conditions and reduces the deficit," Nelson says in the ad, according to the paper. "And it's not run by the government. I'm convinced this is right for Nebraska."

As part of his agreement to vote with the Democrats, Nelson successfully negotiated the federal government to pay in perpetuity for Medicaid's expansion in his state, an agreement that has riled other senators whose states have to foot the bill.

Nelson told CNN shortly after the vote he did not seek any special favors.

"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."

Nelson won't face reelection until 2012.


Filed under: Ben Nelson • Health care
soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. phil smith

    Sen. Nelson sold out his principles. He can come up with all kinds of reasons most of which do not wash. I wonder what else he will sell.

    December 30, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. Mickey

    It seems that the Republicans have launched their attack. What fearmongering, hateful racists they are!

    December 30, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    He'll be gone in 2012. A matter of fact, all these centrist democrats will be gone. The democratic caucus told you politicians we wanted a public option and Sen. Nelson, you are going against the grain. If you are an incumbent centrist/conservative democrat who was against the public option(Nelson, Lieberman, Baucus) start packing your bags.

    December 30, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. No Incumbents 2010

    Blame it on the Governor. Good move, Ben. You would have been better off just allowing the bill to proceed to a vote (voting for cloture), then vote against the final bill if you are against it.

    December 30, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  5. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    "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."

    i dunno Sparky.... that kind of sounds like asking for a carve-out to me. What a scumbag. And I'm an Obamabot saying this! Have a nice day!

    December 30, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  6. dontreadonme

    The dems must really think that their base is stupid. They are selling this as a bill that will lower insurance premiums, provide uninsured with coverage and reduce the deficit. Really strange that increasing spending will lower the deficit? Oh that is right your taxes will increase to pay for it! So save a buck on insurance and pay two bucks more in taxes and reduce the deficit by a $.05. Wow!

    December 30, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  7. gt

    he is the worest kind of politicain...he is the lowest of the lows,,,, nebraska is a very proud state and he has brought a dark cloud over it,,,

    December 30, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  8. Bedtime for Obonzo

    "'I didn't ask for a carve-out,' Nelson told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King." Of course you didn't, Senator. It was the Carve-Out Fairy that decided the rest of the nation's taxpayers would subsidize Nebraska's Medicaid payments forever.

    December 30, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  9. Joe in NJ

    Defend yourself all you want. Your little sweetheart deal regarding Medicaid is the real reason you voted yes, and it is something that is never going to happen once the lawsuits from other States start..

    December 30, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  10. Rickster

    You, Ben, like so many others have hitched your wagon to the wrong horse....Obama is leading you right off the cliff like the mindless lemming that you are.

    You might as well start looking for a new job because "don't think we're not keeping score, brother".

    December 30, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  11. joe m

    another politician with an excuse.

    December 30, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  12. nobodyasked

    ben nelson should start going to night school and learn about animal care, in 2012 when he is up for election, a position as a dog catcher will be as high as he could possibly qualify.

    if there was ever a duplicitous sellout politician, ben nelson fits the bill. too bad bribery isn't part of his code of ethics,

    December 30, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  13. duffey

    The people of Nebraska will see more benefits per capita the most States. his is due in part to the farming industry in which may of the laborers do not have health insurance.

    I really don't think he needs to expalin much, afterall he got what he wanted from the way the bill is framed.

    Personally I think he could have done a better job by voteing as an American vs voteing as a Nebraskan.

    December 30, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  14. sifto77

    stop making excuses, traitor–I admired you until you caved in to Reid–say goodbye to your job next time–what a letdown you turned out to be.

    December 30, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  15. Keith Toledo

    OK, Senator, enough with the smoke screens. You did ask for a kickback. And maybe that's the way things are done in Washington, and maybe it's the way to get things done. Please just don't treat the American people like we're stupid.

    December 30, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  16. duffey

    The people of Nebraska will see more benefits per capita then most States. this is due in part to the farming industry in which many of the laborers do not have health insurance.

    I really don't think he needs to expalin much, afterall he got what he wanted from the way the bill is framed.

    Personally I think he could have done a better job by voteing as an American vs voteing as a Nebraskan.

    December 30, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  17. Razorback

    Yeah, he fixed it for Nebraska and passed the costs on to the rest of us. Typical Democrat-if he doesn't have to personally pay for it, it's not a concern.

    December 30, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  18. Becker

    Wishing nothing but the worst for Nets. He sold out just like his scumbag collegue senator from Louisiana. Hey but in Louisiana you expect it since corruption is so bad there its like Mexico.

    December 30, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  19. Gilly Bates

    Why should the man have to defend his position? Republicans are the ones who should be explaining why they don't want to provide health care for those who badly need it.

    December 30, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  20. rita

    He did not ask for a handout, but gladly took the exemption and traded a vote for it when the handout was extended. I know senators trade votes and horse-deal all of the time, but this deal was built on FOREVER. Sure, Congress gets a little smelly sometimes with these back door deals, but this albatross takes the cake. It seems to me that he is more concerned about Nebraska than the American citizens in general. It doesn't seem that he has addressed the main concern of the citizens of Nebraska or the rest of the United States of America – and that is the concern of apparent blackmail, bribery or at the very least,strong-arm wrestling.

    December 30, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  21. Danny J

    Ben "Judas" Nelson has some explaining to do. Excuses won't cut it. The people of Nebraska are just too smart for this.

    December 30, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  22. Don

    Good luck with that Ben. Based on recent poll numbers you've only got 30 points to make up on your closest rival.

    December 30, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  23. Nate (Seattle, WA)

    Ben Nelson is disgusting. Voters of Nebraska on either side should be ashamed of themselves. Nelson doesn't seem to realize that he's one of 100 Senators, whose states all have budget woes. That doesn't give him the right to hold this legislation for ransom. Nor does it give him the right to try to single-handedly overturn Roe v. Wade. The Supreme Court ruled, Ben.

    Our democracy has become an absolute farce.

    December 30, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  24. Doug, witnessing true evil in blue America

    The people of Nebraska are good hearted, honest, caring people, there is nothing remotely Democrat about them. Ben should go to where evil people of his ilk live, New York, New Jersey, and California.

    December 30, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  25. Out the door in 4

    Vote this guy out! And how is it legal for Harry Reid to make backroom deals for this guys vote, that will cost each and every other state more money? Buying votes with tax payer dollars should NOT be permitted.

    December 30, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
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