“Sen. Tester is building a tough and experienced campaign team because he knows what it takes to win,” Tester spokesman Aaron Murphy said. “He won’t give up on his record of hard work, working together and success for Montana, from creating private-sector jobs to cutting taxes to cutting the budget.”
Another potential candidate is Neil Livingstone, a terrorism expert and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based crisis management firm Executive Action. Livingstone considers Rehberg a friend and likely would not run if the Congressman is already in the race. That may be the case, as Livingstone estimates he will not make a final decision until late spring.
“Given the slow progress with jobs and the economy, and everything going on in the world today, it’s focusing me more and more at jumping into the ring myself, simply because I think I can do a better job,” Livingstone told Roll Call.
A Rehberg run for Senate would mean leaving the House and giving up his role as chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. Whoever ends up taking on Tester, Republicans think the Senator is in political trouble.
“Sen. Tester is very highly vulnerable in 2012. It’s not a matter of who our candidate is, it’s a matter of his record,” Montana GOP Executive Director Bowen Greenwood said.
“He voted for Obamacare and 60 percent of Montanans oppose that. He voted for the stimulus. He didn’t just break his campaign promise to oppose earmarks, he trampled on it,” Greenwood said. “Jon Tester has betrayed Montana, and that bill is coming due in 2012.”