December 21st, 2009
10:22 AM ET
7 years 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 thereā€¦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. I am the flacid and powerless wizard of Rush

    I compare Huck to a bitter loser, but hey it's only an innocent comparison.

    December 21, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  2. Barry In Las Vegas

    This entire process is a disgrace. Our Founding Fathers would never believed that the process they developed for governing our country would be perverted into buying votes with federal taxpayer dollars and holding votes without a complete review of the proposed legislation, especially doing it at 1 am on a Sunday when most of America and the press is asleep (although this press has been asleep for a long time) and holding the final vote on Christmas Eve to try and hide their work of shame from the American public.

    Today is a very sad day for our country and sadder yet because now we bride our politicians out in the open with taxpayers dollers from other states.

    Sadder yet is the person who led the charge is from my state.

    December 21, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. W l Jones

    My suggestion one should clean up one own party back yard party problem first.

    December 21, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. steve

    "you guys obstruct everything" That is a very stupid comment. The Dems have the Super Majority. It shouldn't matter at all what the Republicans do. Stop blaming the Republicans you moron. All the problems are on the Democrat side idiot.
    Also, what kind of fool would say "He's a so-called christian who seems to have no problem ignoring just about every one of Christ's teachings when it comes to the poor, accumulation of wealth, and war." What do you know about Christ's teachings. I bet you never even opened a Bible. This society is doomed because of morons like you who think if I sing peace songs and steal money to give to the poor then all is well.

    December 21, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  5. Antioch_Boy

    We all know this health thing is broken, needs fixing, am I too naive to wish that all of us would come together and get it fixed, instead of pulling out and allowing Nelson and that Llieberman take us for a ride.

    I blame it on my fellow republicans, don't do anything just -attack-mentality will not serve us right. Why do we always allow the self-righteous goody goody Democrats claim that they are trying to help other Americans?

    December 21, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  6. ivan

    Only 49 more States to go and we will have a one payer universal health care system.
    The foot is in the door and we're on the slippery slope, its about time.

    December 21, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  7. Matt, Manchester, CT

    People pull out the Judas comparison a little too freely these days. For someone who proudly proclaims his evangelical fervor, does he really believe that Ben Nelson's vote is really on par w/ the betrayal of Jesus Christ? Let's stop being so hysterical, Huck.

    December 21, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  8. Len in Washington

    Way to go, Huckster!

    Show those "nasty Liberals" how to :
    1. Love thy neighbor
    2. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone
    on and on and on...

    What a sad joke Huckabee is.

    December 21, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. single mom

    Two questions –
    1. Could someone just state in simple, non-legalistic jingo terms exactly what is in this bill that the Democrats are so eager to pass? Most of them aren't sure what is in the bill!

    2. How are they going to pay for it? We've already mortgaged the country several times over to China! It'll take a millenium to pay off the debt as it is.

    December 21, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  10. John

    Get 'em, Governor Huckabee! This new Health Care Bill = If you make more money than the current House/Senate/President thinks you have the right to make, they are going to take that money and give it to women who can't afford to have an abortion but want one.

    What a world. Hope and Change:)

    December 21, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  11. Charlie

    I have no comment if he argues that he protests abortion, that his belief. But to get more money for his state made him no different than the ex Illinois governor, who tried to sell the Senate seat. They are all crooks one way or the other.

    December 21, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  12. unemployed by Obama and cannot find work

    Just like Judas, to deal in backrooms then lie about his involvement, I hope the liberals and anti-christs are happy

    December 21, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  13. Keeth in California

    Huckabee's ego wants the spotlight back. Pride is one of the 7 deadly sins, Huckabee.

    December 21, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. vegage

    If he says that Nelson is judas, then Huckabee is the roman soldier that lashed out to Jesus.

    December 21, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  15. renobill

    I agree with Huckabee (There's a first) but for different reasons. I consider Nelson a Judas to any real Democrat for not supporting Women's Rights, and a government run health plan. He's really no better than Lieberman, and I wish the Dems had enough votes where they could kick them both to the other side of the aisle.

    December 21, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  16. Tom, Atlanta

    What a jerk....

    December 21, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  17. Rafael VA

    Nelson is a crook! He will be gone at re-election just watch! It's going to be the health care fall out!

    December 21, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  18. Jim

    What planet is he from? He thinks this is new? It is the way of Washington and has been for years.

    December 21, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  19. RAG

    "Huckabee the Paroler" just needs something to be outraged about to cloud the outrage at his personal responsibility for the murdered cops in Washington state. With his following, that's not too hard. His crowd lives to be outraged. If they can't be outraged over the truth, then they will easily accept someting made up or distorted...

    December 21, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  20. Laurie

    Huckabee released a convicted felon who murdered four innocent police officers. I wonder what the families of those fallen officers call him. Shut it.

    December 21, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  21. Pat F

    You mean a Democrat was bought and paid for by the Obama Chicago Mafia? In other news, the sun came up this morning.

    December 21, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  22. Disgusted Democrat

    This Democrat AGREES!!!

    The audacity and arrogance this man had to burden the rest of us with an obligation HE is not willing to accept for himself or his state.

    His actions were an atrocity!!!!

    December 21, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  23. Laverne

    The republicans are sooo mad right about now! Well since your plan did not work with Ben Nelson I am sure you are worked well into the wee hours of the night trying to figure out how you can further obstruct healthcare passage. You republicans are on the wrong side of history and can't believe that the dems finally are sticking together. They did it by any means necessary, good for them!

    December 21, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  24. Tom

    The hypocrite calling another person Judas?

    December 21, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  25. William

    LOL Nelson is done.. He has received over 2000 emails from the State not one favoring his stance. This is WRONG..Nelson received $45 million in bribe money for his State to swing his vote doesn't anyone else find this criminal and IMPEACHABLE?

    December 21, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
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