June 6th, 2010
02:30 PM ET
12 years ago

'I'm up against a lot,' says Lincoln

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/06/art.lincolniso0606.cnn.jpg caption="'I am very much a moderate,' Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Arkansas, said Sunday."]
(CNN) – With only days left until her political future is decided in Arkansas’ Senate Democratic primary runoff, incumbent Blanche Lincoln criticized her opponent and defended her moderate record which has drawn fire from both conservatives and liberals during this midterm election year.

“I’m up against a lot,” Lincoln said on CNN’s State of the Union after detailing the significant support her opponent, Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, has received from unions and liberal groups.

Related: Halter coy on union issues

Asked by CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley about the voter anger that has been directed at her from both conservatives and liberals, Lincoln said the challenges she is facing in her re-election bid are part of a wider political trend.

“I think they are angry at Washington,” she told Crowley, “and I think they are frustrated.”

And the two-term senator sought to both assume the mantle of change, which brought President Obama to office and has now become a rising tide targeting Lincoln and other incumbents, and to defend her record of moderate views.

“The fact is, I have been a part of change in Washington,” Lincoln said. “That's why I first went to Washington. I started groups like the Blue Dogs and the New Democrats in the Senate. I am very much a moderate. I was one of the senators that helped to bring down the cost of the stimulus package and so many other things that I felt like were very much in tune with what Arkansas wanted to see.”

Asked by Crowley about the implications of her strained relationship with the more liberal factions of the Democratic Party, Lincoln said she was confident her constituents would not be swayed by the likes of MoveOn.org and some of the major unions.

“Well, I think that, first of all, Arkansans will see through all of that.”

Lincoln added, “But the fact is that they understand that all of this negative advertising is not who we are as Arkansans. We don't solve our problems in Arkansas - we weren't taught to solve our problems with hate and anger. We were taught to solve our problems by coming together.”

Lincoln also described herself as being “in the middle of the battlefield” in the Senate, which has been highly partisan during the 111th Congress.

“As you've noticed in my caucus, I am pretty much the moderate out there,” she said. “I'm in the middle here in the Senate. I am not one that goes to the trenches or the foxholes on the left or the foxholes on the right. I am the one in the middle of a battlefield trying to find the common ground, because I think the people of Arkansas and the people of this country want us to solve our problems. They want us to solve these issues, they want us to come together and figure out how do we get results, how do we create jobs, how do we move this economy forward?”

In her bid for re-election, Lincoln has found herself the target of large, influential unions upset over her refusal to support legislation that would make it easier for workers to unionize and over her refusal to back a public health insurance option as part of the Democratic health care bill. In the May 18 primary, Rep. John Boozman, R-Arkansas, won the Republican Senate nomination but the Democratic Senate race remained undecided because no candidate crossed the 50 percent threshold in balloting. Lincoln and Halter have spent the past three weeks locked in a hard-fought runoff race that comes to an end this Tuesday.

Filed under: 2010 • Arkansas • Blanche Lincoln • State of the Union
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    Accepting bribes is not a great way to get people to like you.

    June 6, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    And, BTW, if you're so "moderate," Blanche, why did you vote for Obama's neo-socialist take-over of health care? Was is just the money? You sold out your philosophical position for money?

    To paraphrase Churchill, that tells us quite clearly, madam, what you are, we're just discussing your price.

    June 6, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. Albo58

    Blanche ALSO voted FOR Obamacare so survey says: FAIL!

    June 6, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  4. BeverlyNC

    I hope Lincoln loses BIG to Halter. She betrayed the People with her constant stalling and blackmailing Senator Reid for her vote.

    She has no integrity, is bought and paid for by the oil industry and the health industy, and we need REAL leaders who are there to work for the People and NOT for large abusive corporations.

    Lincoln is no servant to the People and deserves to be removed from the Senate for good.

    June 6, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. Annie, Atlanta

    Lincoln should be up against a lot. She's corporate owned. And we're sick of our corporate owned politicians. Hopefully Arkansas is sick of her too. Of course, there's no guarantee if Halter wins that he won't be corporate owned, either. We need to get the corporations out of DC. They've gamed the system in their favor and against us. OF course this isn't a wholesale condemnation of every corporation as evil, by any means, but by and large, we're losing control to them.

    June 6, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |