03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Michael Bennet At Center Of Senate Health Care Debate, Target Of John McCain Robocalls

The National Journal reports that the National Republican Senatorial Committee is paying for an automated phone campaign that will feature John McCain, and will target states with vulnerable senators, including Michael Bennet in Colorado. The calls will specifically address health care, and will encourage Colorodans to urge Bennet to support McCain's amendment to the Senate health care bill, which would change language involving Medicare funding, and force the bill back to Committee.

The calls going to Arizona said:

"On Monday I introduced the first Republican amendment to the massive health care bill, which would send the bill back to the Senate Finance Committee and stop the Democrats from cutting vital Medicare coverage for our seniors. I need Sen. Blanche Lincoln to join me in this effort,"

Bennet and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) countered Wednesday when Bennet introduced an amendment protecting guaranteed Medicare benefits. The DSCC released a statement urging Bennet's Republican challenger, Jane Norton, to support his amendment.

DSCC Spokemen Eric Schultz challenged Norton:

"While Michael Bennet works hard for the people of Colorado in the U.S. Senate, Jane Norton has done nothing but stand back and say no to every proposal put forth to help Coloradans," said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Communications Director Eric Schultz. "Colorado voters have a right to know if she supports the Bennet Amendment, which will protect and strengthen Medicare for Colorado seniors. If she doesn't support it, she owes Coloradans a big explanation."

A poll conducted in September, shortly after Norton announced her candidacy, had Norton up by 9 points over the incumbent Bennet. Bennet also faces a primary challenge from former Colorado House Majority Leader Andrew Romanoff.