POLITICS

Red-state Senate Dem embraces ‘Rockefeller Republican’ label

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke,Senate,Jay Rockefeller

Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, who is up for reelection next year, likened himself to the Republicans of yesteryear rather than accept an association with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

“Probably a Rockefeller Republican,” Begich replied when offered a choice between that label and the title of “Pelosi Democrat” on CNBC this morning. “Alaska Democrats are very different: We support oil and gas development, we support ANWR [drilling] — I actually have great debates with [Democratic colleagues] — guns, we support a strong military,” Begich had said moments earlier.

Pelosi became one of the most polarizing members of Congress during her time as House Speaker, especially during the legislative debate about Obamacare in 2009 and 2010. The National Republican Senatorial Committee, which hopes to pick off Begich’s seat next year, pointed out following the interview this morning that Begich voted in favor of Obamacare.

“From the moment Mark Begich got to Washington, he began cozying up to President Obama and Democratic leaders, turning his back on Alaskans,”said NRSC Press Secretary Brook Hougesen. We know Republicans…. Republicans are friends of ours…. Senator Begich, you are no Republican.”

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