Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., was one of four House Republcians to vote agaonst Rep. Paul Ryan's budget. And, ads supporting his candidacy have pointed to that vote as a example of how he can break party ranks when he needs to protect Montana seniors.
Just the same, he said this morning he was delighted that Mitt Romney had tapped Ryan as his vice presidential pick, referring to the Wisconsin representative as "my friend and House colleague."
"I appreciate his character, intelligence, and creativity, not only on the vast majority of issues on which we agree — like controlling government spending, developing our natural resources, and providing tax relief for families and job creators — but also on the few occasions where we haven't,"Rehberg said in a press release Saturday morning.
Both the Presidential race and our Senate campaign here in Montana are about creating jobs, getting our economy back on track, and turning the page on President Obama and Senator Tester's harmful, tax-and-spend policies so we can restore America to its full greatness."
It's clear that Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan are the right team to lead our nation in that comeback," he said.
Rehberg is locked in a tight race against incumbent.Dempcrat Jon Tester for the U.S. Senate. The race is being watched nationwide because it will play a key role in determining which party will control the U.S. Senate.
Some conservative groups have hammered Rehberg for the vote. The conservative Wall Street Journal wrote a scathing editoral critical of Rehberg's anti-Ryan budget vote. Some conservative bloggers have called him a RINO — A Republican in Name Only, though Rehberg votes the party line most of the time in the House and was an early member of the House Tea Party Caucus..
Rehberg's ad touted his opposition to the Canadaian-American Free Trade Agreement, the Ryan budget and President George Bush's bank bailouts.
Washingtion pundits suggested Rehberg must be in a prickly position, having opposed the party leadership.
NBC's chief political reporter Chuck Todd tweeted early Saturday: "I bet Denny Rehberg woke up with a big headache this morning."