Sen. Lincoln says Obama never lobbied her on healthcare

President Barack Obama hasn't reached out to lobby Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) on healthcare, the senator said Wednesday. 

Lincoln, a key Senate centrist who's facing a tough reelection challenge, said that Obama had barely reached out to her on healthcare, his top domestic priority.

"I made it pretty clear that I didn't support reconciliation," Lincoln said during an appearance on MSNBC, by way of offering a reason as to why the president would let her be. "I think he hates asking people to do things contrary to what their gut tells them to do."

Lincoln, who's facing a primary challenge from her left and a tough Republican challenge this fall, has bucked Obama and her party on including the public option in health reform, as well as on using the budget reconciliation process to pass health reform in the Senate. She did vote with other Senate Democrats to approve the chamber's healthcare bill in December, however. 

Lincoln said she hadn't spoken to Obama on the phone about healthcare, though at some point during the healthcare process, she reached out to the president and sought a meeting with him. 

The reconciliation process Democrats are considering would allow them to pass healthcare legislation with only a simple majority of votes instead of the 60 votes usually needed to end a filibuster. Lincoln and a handful of other centrist Democrats have said they would vote against the reconciliation bill, but it still appears as thought Senate leaders still have enough votes to proceed. 

"I would hope that what they would do is coming to that common ground," Lincoln said of the Senate's health reform efforts. "We've got to start putting one foot in front of another."