Claims of 'risk' vs. 'lies' in first Senate race backed by Tea Party Express
May 11th, 2011
03:13 PM ET
3 years ago

Claims of 'risk' vs. 'lies' in first Senate race backed by Tea Party Express

Washington (CNN) – Already, things are getting ugly.

In a preview of what'll likely be a bruising bout of political combat, the Tea Party Express and Nebraska Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson's campaign began trading barbs on Wednesday.

This comes just hours after the Express announced its pick to run against Nelson: state Attorney General Jon Bruning. The Senate endorsement is the first from the Tea Party Express for the 2012 cycle.

Even before the Express' official announcement in Washington at the National Press Club, Nelson's campaign was firing back.

"This endorsement makes perfect sense," Nelson campaign manager Paul Johnson wrote in a statement. "Both the Tea Party Express and Mr. Bruning want to cut Medicare, cut Social Security and return to the days when insurance companies could deny health coverage to children with preexisting conditions."

The last part of Johnson's quote apparently refers to conservative calls to repeal the nation's health care law.

Wasting little time in responding, the Tea Party Express called Johnson's claims flat out "lies."

"Shortly after seeing his conservative opponent endorsed by the Tea Party Express, the Nelson camp went into panic mode, and has already started a campaign of lies and deceptions to try and cling to political office," Express chairman Amy Kremer fired back in an email.

"Nelson's campaign has falsely stated that the Tea Party Express wants to cut Medicare, Social Security and deny insurance coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. That is patently false," Kremer added.

And then, some rough advice squarely aimed at Johnson.

"We would encourage Nelson to rein-in his campaign spokesman and stick to the truth and not lies and distortions of our record," Kremer wrote.

Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @ShanTravisCNN


Filed under: 2012 • Ben Nelson • Nebraska • Senate • Tea Party Express
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    "Nelson's campaign has falsely stated that the Tea Party Express wants to cut Medicare, Social Security and deny insurance coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. That is patently false," Kremer added.
    -------------
    The voting records of the Tea Party Caucus are on record. We, the people, know the truth and the lies.

    May 11, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. Jilli

    Ben Nelson is the perfect argument for term limits. He has no true convictions other than doing what will most benefit Ben Nelson.

    May 11, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    This campaign will feature a new style of campaigning.
    I am going to name adepts of this divisive style "Barkers."

    May 11, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  4. PALINHOPE

    If he's a Democrat then he is a liar. SO the Tea Party Candidate will win. We are the party of the future. Go ahead and blow Obama supporters you're good at that also.

    May 11, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. Al-NY,NY

    OK, Mr T-bagger. Then have your candidate go in front of the cameras and proclaim he rejects the idea of those cuts and would not support them. THEN we'll believe you and will recant the statement. Until then, you WILL do it and they are telling the truth. It's as easy as that.

    May 11, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  6. Rex Raptor

    And what exactly was Paul Johnson lying about? That's pretty much what the tea party is all about.

    May 11, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. peace

    Sen Nelson is telling the truth the teanut want to do any thing to hurt the president re election wake up america we are in a war for our healthcare against these teabag and gop.

    May 11, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  8. king

    i thought nelson was a republican, any ways i would rather a republican than one of those backward ideolgist from the 60s tea bagging lunatic.

    May 11, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  9. Name Jeremy from Dallas

    Wow.....who is not aware of what tea party is up to. They want to end Medicare,SS,Medcaid and repeal new healthcare law. Ben Nelson is right on this. Ok,can the tea party stop challenging healthcare law in courts? Let them support it to believe they are for Medicare.

    May 11, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  10. FearMonger

    Yep, those Democrat fear mongers..oh, wait, it's the GOP fearmongers...no, it's... Who is it scaring all the old people, union members, welfare recipients into thinking they're going to lose their handouts? I'm voting for the first person who says, "Nobody is going to get a damn thing from the government, except plenty of cops and clean drinking water. The rest, you're on your own!"

    May 11, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  11. MPeters

    Well, if the Tea Party Express wants paul Ryan's Budget Plan (which it does), wants to cut Social Security (which it does), and wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which it does....then I'm completely unsure what the meaning of the word "lies" is.

    Just repeating that these are "lies" does not make them so. What Nelson's spokesman said about the Tea Party Express was 100% correct. It wants to cut Medicare and turn it into a voucher program that won't cover the cost of rising healthcare costs for seniors, it wants to repeal the ACA (which would allow companies to again cut children and those with pre-existing conditions) without "replacing" it with anything (remember how the Republicans in the House all voted to repeal it, then said they were gonna start working in Committees on a "replacement" Bill? Anyone seen this Bill? Nope, neither have I....because it doesn't exist.), and it wants to fiddle around with Social Security by privitizing it and making it a Retirement Savings Account held in "trust" by Wall Street bankers, who caused the last major recession.

    Again, I ask...where are the lies?

    May 11, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Over the top "attack dogs" will henceforth be known as "Barkers."

    May 11, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  13. wwf

    repeal o fthe health care bill will do just that. Put things back the way they were, and the TP knows that.

    May 11, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  14. rs

    If the Tea Party Express is involved, it is the Koch Brothers at work. They certainly don't care about middle class Americans, Social Security or anything else. They just want to be the un-regulated rich.

    May 11, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  15. Sgt Schultz

    Ben Nelson is a Democrat? Who knew...could have fooled me the way he always votes like a Republican and sides with their Big $ lobbyist cronies. What's the big deal....there is no difference between Ben Nelson and the Tea Party nuts. NE needs a "real" Democrat.

    May 11, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  16. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Oh well Ben, the gig is OVER. Send your thank you card to Obama and think about your vote for Obamacare. It is time to be put out to pasture and Nebraska has plenty of that!

    May 11, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  17. Jeff In Ohio

    Seemed like a pretty good characterization of the GOTea Party position on health care. Why doesn't CNN report what the truth is instead of just the accusations?

    May 11, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  18. Oregon Calling

    Distortions of their records? Really?!?!?! Haven't you been paying attention to what they have been doing in congress lately?

    Peace :-)

    May 11, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  19. larry

    Would you buy a car that you knew had a bad engine? The pre-existing clause is forcing insurance companies to do the same thing. As a business, why would you accept a minimal premium when you know you are going to have to pay out many times over in the future. What this is is idiotic. I suppose as long as it is idiotic on someone elses part it is OK!!! I ask you to think about how you would handle it if you were the one who knew you were going to lose your ass doing this!!!

    May 11, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  20. SaraJmaes

    If the Tea Party are involved, them Ben Nelson are right.

    May 11, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  21. HenryMiller

    "Both the Tea Party Express and Mr. Bruning want to cut Medicare, cut Social Security and return to the days when insurance companies could deny health coverage to children with preexisting conditions."

    Yeah, because Medicare and Social Security are bankrupting the country, and the huge increases in health insurance premiums due to Obamacare are bankrupting people. Apparently, Senator Nelson is all for bankrupting the country and its people.

    Of course, Nelson is the guy who accepted a bribe from Harry Reid to support Obamacare. I guess that makes Nelson an honest politician, one who, once bought, stays bought.

    May 11, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  22. AZ DEM

    "Nelson's campaign has falsely stated that the Tea Party Express wants to cut Medicare, Social Security and deny insurance coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. That is patently false," Kremer added.
    ---------------------------------------------–
    Oh so slashing the budget including entitlement programs is not the ralying cry we've heard from the tea party ever since they aka the GOP took over the House of Reps? They didn't pass a bill to repeal the Healthcare law and replaced it with nothing??? I'm sorry maybe don't know the difference between a lie and the truth...on second thought I think its the Tea Party that needs the reality check

    May 11, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    @Jilli: We HAVE term limits – it's called voting!

    Quit trying to control people you don't agree with!

    May 11, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. ThinkAgain

    @HenryMiller: Health care reform wasn't in place for the last 20 years, as health insurance premiums skyrocketed. They're going up know for the same reason they always have:

    To support the average $14 MILLION annual salary of insurance company CEOs and to maximize profits for the shareholders.

    Notice how there's no mention of actually providing health care to people?

    THAT'S the reason why President Obama wanted to pass reform .... and if you know anything about anything, you know that it will SAVE our country money.

    May 11, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  25. kylefromohio

    the Tea Party Express wants to cut Medicare, Social Security and deny insurance coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. That is patently false

    Then what do you want, your record of voting and Senate endorsements have all had the talking points of wants to cut Medicare, Social Security. As the saying goes "should i believe your lying mouth over my lying eyes"

    May 11, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
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