December 30th, 2009
02:56 PM ET
8 years ago

Nelson launches TV ad defending vote

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Keith in Austin

    Two thirds of all Nebraskans oppose the Democrat-proposed Healthcare bill yet Nelson folded like a cheap suit with bribes from Harry Reid's treasure chest of taxpayer money.

    Benji is now toast in his re-election bid and good riddance.

    Mary Landreau and Ben can hopefully find new jobs in the New Orleans and Omaha red light districts. They have wonderful experience

    December 30, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  2. C Spurgeon

    Hope he goes in 2912. We don't need ethics like that on either side. Get rid of the crooks on both sides where politics come before country

    December 30, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  3. valwayne

    The people of Nebraska, who have overwhelmingly rejected Sen Nelson for voting against their wishes, and his corrupt Cornhusker Kickback, are a proud example to the nation. In California the majority would be toasting their whacko Senators for making a corrupt deal like that, but not in Nebraska. I predict that Senator Nelsons attempt to justify the corruption through a TV add will increase the outrage of the good people of Nebraska. Too bad they are stuck with him for 3 more years!

    December 30, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  4. Karen

    Face it Senator, you sold out your personal values and those of your state for $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Shame on you!

    December 30, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  5. Thomas

    Although I favor the health care reform bill I believe it is tainted by the 30 pieces of silver extorted by Senator Nelson to the detriment of the rest of the United States based upon a conjured objection to a protected right of women. This obvious payoff to Nebraska should be removed in commitee or we should start over... regrettably thanks to Senator Nelson

    December 30, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
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