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Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson Announces He will Not Run in 2012, Says “It’s Time to Move On”

by | Dec 28, 2011

By Dave Andrusko

Sen. Ben Nelson

When Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson announced this afternoon in a video posted on YouTube that “I am announcing today that I will not seek reelection,” it was a stark reminder that the baggage Democrats took on for supporting the abortion-ridden ObamaCare is a price they will continue to pay in 2012.

Nelson’s announcement came two weeks after the PACS of both National Right to Life and Nebraska Right to Life announced that they would oppose Nelson if he chose to run for a third term in 2012.

“Ben Nelson was the deciding vote to make the ObamaCare the law of the land, and in the current Congress, Nelson has a 0% pro-life voting record,” said National Right to Life Executive Director David N. O’Steen, Ph.D. “Ben Nelson cannot win in Nebraska without pro-life support and he won’t have it. No pro-lifer should even consider supporting Ben Nelson for re-election.” Nelson would never admit this, of course, but he already faced a tough re-election fight and without strong pro-life support his chance were slim and none.

Both National Right to Life and Nebraska Right to Life consider the vote on the so-called “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (ObamaCare) to be an absolutely critical vote to the right-to-life movement.  As enacted, the Obama health care law contained multiple provisions authorizing subsidies for abortion, and also provisions that opened the doors to abortion-expanding administrative actions.  In addition, the law would lead to government-imposed rationing of lifesaving medical treatment.

Nebraska Right to Life executive director Julie Schmit-Albin said Nebraska pro-lifers felt “betrayed” by Nelson who “abandoned pro-life language and caved in the 11th hour on ObamaCare.” She added, “Pro-life Nebraskans had been kicked in the teeth and Nebraska Right to Life PAC announced then that it would never support Senator Nelson for re-election.”

There are a number of pro-life Republicans competing for the party’s nomination, Attorney General Jon Bruning, State Treasurer Don Stenberg, and State Sen. Deb Fischer. (There are others who may jump in as well.) By contrast the Democrats are left without an obvious candidate, although some are running the name of pro-abortion former Senator Bob Kerrey up the flag.

But as the Wall Street Journal described it, “In a recent interview with the blog Nebraska Watchdog, he sounded decidedly ambivalent.”

There has been a flurry of politicking over the past couple of months when it became clear Nelson might not seek a third term. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spent over $1 million on an ad blitz while Republican-aligned groups have been criticizing his record.

While Republicans hold a majority in the House, in the Senate Democrats hold a 53-47 advantage. However, Senate 23 Democrats face re-election or retirement, compared to just 10 Republicans.

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Categories: Politics