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. Will S

    Every state is having fiscal "woes". Here's an idea: expand Medicare to cover every citizen and then adjust taxes to pay for it as you go.

    December 30, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  2. democratsruinwhattheytouch

    A defense of the indefensible. Blame it on Bush/Cheny, that is the liberal way.CNN check to see who got the most campaign contributions from the financial sector, McCain or Obama and then watch the libertards and their idiot president attack.

    December 30, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  3. John in Tampa

    He did his job, can't blame him for that.
    I wondered, did he know he would support it in the end but saw withholding his support as a means to a separate goal.
    I can't blame him for that either. Cash in hand I would hang him for, but satisfying his constituents is his job. That they might re-elect him and continue his salary as a result of that I think okay, his keeping his job is only right if he satisfies his constituents.
    But what if this was a moral breach, if he traded moral imperatives? There was already a status quo about abortion. If that is what matters to you, ask if that changes under the healthcare bill. If you cannot see a definable change in abortion law or process, then leave it alone, and think only of other healthcare issues.
    Nelson may have been responsible for holding the status quo on abortion in place. If so he did us all a favor by simplifying the overall healthcare debate.

    December 30, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  4. www.circleparkforum.com

    Nelson's efforts to ruin real health care reform are indefensible, as are the efforts of far too many other Senate Democrats.

    No one should contribute to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) so long as Senators like Blanche Lincoln (AR) will be benefitting from those funds.

    December 30, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  5. rachel

    Nelson you should your vote to the highest bidder, case closed tell the truth shame the devil.

    December 30, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  6. Michael from Ventura

    Senator Nelson enjoyed is 15 minutes of fame- It might help him with some of the cons (conservatives)- but I think he will have a problem with many Dems come 2012. Hope so!

    December 30, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  7. Bill

    Talk about sweetening the pot....sheesh. He and the senator from LA. hit the jackpot. Now, the rest of us will have to pay for it. Somehow that doesn't sound fair.

    December 30, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  8. Bren

    Check out the Rasmussen site---to find out why Nelson is working so hard to defend his vote!!!!

    Hahahahahahahaa-–You will be retiring in 2012 Nelson!!!

    December 30, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  9. Retired-Vet

    Give me a break. Bennie boy voted party line for graft. The bovine scatology from the dems on lowering deficit, saving medicare, and lowering health care costs would make a blowfly wince.

    December 30, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  10. Hammerer

    Right and Reid almost broke your arm trying to make you take the bribe, on doubt.

    December 30, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  11. Bpin

    Nelson is a bold face liar. If he thinks citizens are going to buy this pitch, he would be better off giving this money to chairty. He allowed his voye on this important piece of legislation to be bought. Shame on him, and he deserves ever ounce of criticism and ridicule that goes along with this stupid move. May he be a huge looser in 2012.

    December 30, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  12. John D.

    Ben Nelson, you are a disgusting example of a spinless jelly fish. This just shows how low you really are and that you are a man for sale to the highest bidder. It shows you have absolutely zero morals and are just a windbag. I hope the good People of the State of Nebraska give you what you deserve. Well, public flogging may be out but how about the BOOT!

    Thanks for nothing!

    December 30, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  13. AshleyB

    I am from Nebraska and totally support Senator Nelson's decision!

    December 30, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  14. oldtimer

    This idiot needs to be recalled.

    December 30, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  15. lucerot

    The US Senate is the most un-democratic legislative body in the western world. Our founding father (while having extra-ordinary foresight) were shortsighted in this regard. The Senate gives disproportionate power to lesser populated (ie conservative) areas. Progress in the US is effectively stunted by a hand full of backwater hicks.

    December 30, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  16. unemployed by Obama

    Nelson is another Democrate crook who SOLD his vote and sold out the people from Nebraska and all the American people.

    December 30, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  17. Dave in OH

    As a liberal I disagree with what he got out of all of this. Harry Reid knew that the Republicans, who within the last few years have cried and whined about fillibusters, would not even have the courage to allow the bill to come to an up or down vote. That's why they are making these shady deals. This would never have happened if the Republicans would have just man'd up and accepted that they are the minority and they lost big time instead of fillibustering EVERYTHING. They're sore losers and cowards

    December 30, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  18. annie against biased news

    Was that part of the bribe – money to advertise for sorry self?

    December 30, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  19. Reggie

    Nelson will suffer deeply for his mistake. Say good-bye to congress, Senator.

    December 30, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  20. Albo58

    History has already given Nelson the proper label, THIEF!

    December 30, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  21. freddy

    Ben;s move was a really bad decision for everyone, democrats and the GOP. Here is hope that your state will come to life and dump you in the next election.

    December 30, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  22. 'Rob T.

    I can understand his getting consessions on abortion . lThat is a principled possition , But to exsempt his state from the same taxes that all americans have to pay is corruption pure and simple.

    December 30, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  23. andy

    I bet he is defending it. He got paid off. Politacally corrupt and he wants you to understand. How many payoffs have these guys accepted from lobbyist to get something passed?

    December 30, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  24. letmeout

    Here is another one on his way out in 2010...see ya con man

    December 30, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  25. Gerry NH

    You cannot defend taking bribes. Oh unless you a congressman.

    December 30, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
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