OOPS! Durbin Walks Back Statement Suggesting Lincoln’s Health Care Vote Is In The Bag

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Earlier today, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) told reporters that Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)–a vulnerable incumbent, and a key health care swing vote–had confided in Majority Leader Harry Reid that she’d made up her mind about tomorrow’s test vote on health care reform.

That must’ve touched off some nerves, because he’s now issued a statement walking back that contention.

“In a conversation with reporters earlier today, some of my remarks regarding Senator Lincoln were unclear and have been incorrectly interpreted,” Durbin’s statement reads. “Let me be clear: Senator Lincoln has had a number of conversations with Sen. Reid about the health care reform legislation. She has asked important questions and there has been a positive and healthy give and take. But Sen. Lincoln has not yet signaled her intention as to how she will vote on tomorrow’s cloture motion.”

Back on the fence, I guess? You can read the entire statement below the fold.

In a conversation with reporters earlier today, some of my remarks regarding Senator Lincoln were unclear and have been incorrectly interpreted.

Let me be clear: Senator Lincoln has had a number of conversations with Sen. Reid about the health care reform legislation. She has asked important questions and there has been a positive and healthy give and take.

But Sen. Lincoln has not yet signaled her intention as to how she will vote on tomorrow’s cloture motion. I have worked with Sen. Lincoln for years and know that she will reach a decision that is best for her constituents, her state and the nation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com
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