The White House will treat Democrats equally during this fall's midterm elections, no matter how they voted on healthcare reform, spokesman Robert Gibbs said Thursday.
Speculation has swirled that the White House may dedicate little or no resources to the 34 House Democrats who voted against the $940 billion healthcare overhaul on Sunday. But Gibbs sought to put that talk to rest.
"I’ve said on several occasions that we’re going to support Democrats," he said during a press gaggle aboard Air Force One. "I think the president understands that we’re a big family that may not agree on everything, but the president will be out there helping Democrats get reelected this fall, regardless of healthcare votes."
Pressed by a reporter if there will be equal treatment, Gibbs replied "There’s equal treatment."
Many of the 34 Democrats who voted "no" come from traditionally Republican districts and are considered vulnerable in the Fall.
Presidents routinely campaign for members of their own party, oftentimes those who face uphill reelection battles.
All Senate Democrats voted for the healthcare measure in December but centrist Democratic Sens. Blanche Lincoln (Ark.), Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.) voted against a package of fixes to it Thursday.
Some liberal activists have encouraged primary races against Democrats who opposed the healthcare law.
Of the three senators, only Lincoln is up for reelection in the fall and she faces a primary challenge.