Rehberg’s Entry Puts Race on Front Burner

Aaron Flint posted on February 08, 2011 09:25 :: 1183 Views

Rothenberg: Rehberg’s Entry Puts Race on Front Burner.

The Washington Examiner has this:

Rep. Dennis Rehberg, a Montana Republican, announced plans to take on incumbent Sen. Jon Tester, a freshman Democrat, and political observers are rating their matchup as one of the top races to watch, given the state’s swing to the right in recent years.
“Rehberg’s entry obviously puts his race on the front burner and makes it one of the premier races of the cycle,” said Stuart Rothenberg, publisher of the Rothenberg Political Report.

Pundits agree that Rehberg has the strongest chance of beating Tester. He’s a former lieutenant governor and the state’s most powerful and popular Republican. As the state’s lone congressman, he runs statewide and just won a sixth term with more than 60 percent of the vote. He came within 5 percentage points of beating Democratic Sen. Max Baucus in 1996.

Rehberg on Bachmann: Endorsement or No Endorsement?

The Politico has this:

“President Bachmann, where are you?,” the sixth-term GOP congressman said to cheers in his speech recorded by a Democratic tracker. (Watch Clip Above)  “That sounds alright, doesn’t it? That sounds pretty good.”

An adviser to Rehberg said the comments shouldn’t be read as an actual endorsement and characterized it as “just a playful intro” to honor the party’s special guest.

“She was very well-received, especially with that crowd. It was a red meat crowd,” said Rehberg’s consultant Erik Iverson.

Plus, is Rehberg getting push-back for leading health care fight?

Republican leaders are leaning toward allowing Montana Rep. Denny Rehberg — head of the subcommittee that holds the purse strings for the nation’s health care apparatus, who’s running for the Senate against Democratic incumbent Jon Tester — to offer an amendment on the floor during debate that would choke off funding. This would provide a second opportunity for an up-or-down vote on the health care bill — the House already voted to repeal it earlier this session.

But the potential Rehberg choice is already ruffling some feathers within the House Republican Conference. Iowa Rep. Steve King, who said he considers Rehberg a “friend,” feels slighted by party leaders because he thinks they co-opted his health care repeal language without giving him credit. King said he has already drafted language for an amendment to defund health care — and noted that he has taken “significant political risk” in being at the forefront of the repeal debate. A leadership aide said, however, that King’s amendment is not legislatively sound and could provide Democrats with an opening to force Republicans to take politically perilous votes.

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