For the second time this week, Republicans are using the example of Senator John F. Kerry to pressure moderate Democrats on health care.
This time, it's a web video targeting Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska for reportedly considering a vote to send the health care overhaul bill to the floor, but then voting against the bill. His vote could be crucial as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tries to reach the 60 votes to overcome a GOP filibuster and begin debate.
The Republican National Committee is calling it a "flip-flop" reminiscent of Kerry, who during his 2004 presidential campaign said of an Iraq war funding bill, “I actually did vote for the $87 billion, before I voted against it.” (He was inartfully saying he voted for an earlier version of an Iraq war appropriation because it would have repealed many of President George W. Bush's tax cuts, but opposing the spending because he would not have gone to war without more international support.)
A similar web video went after Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas on the same grounds.
“Ben Nelson has taken part in the classic Potomac two-step of telling his constituents one thing in Nebraska and doing another thing back in Washington, D.C.," RNC Chairman Michael Steele said in a statement. "Politicians cannot have it both ways -- just ask John Kerry. Nebraskans can spot a phony politician when they see one and they know that any vote to move the Democrats’ health care bill forward is a vote for a government-run health care experiment.”
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.