The Arkansas Democrat called the “most vulnerable senator in America” by the National Republican Senatorial Committee said he’s eagerly signed on with centrist Republicans to try to broker a deal on the shutdown and debt ceiling.
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), who faces a challenge from freshman Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) for his seat, joined on to a group of 13 senators – six Dem, six GOP, one Independent – trying to forge a deal amenable to both sides.
“My sense is that it is pretty much done. Of course, it’s a White House and House and Senate leadership thing. So I’m not in those discussions,” he told MSNBC of the deal now in the works.
“But, by the way, I’m in the Susan Collins fan club. I mean, she — she really did a great job of pulling us together. And I was very appreciative that she reached out to me, because that’s the not the first time my phone has rung from a Republican to say, ‘hey, help us on this bipartisan effort,’ because that really is one of the roles I play in the Senate is to try to bring people together, be a bridge builder,” he gushed about himself and the Maine Republican.
Pryor said “we have a small group in the House that is kind of driving the train over there, and you see what happened.”
He said that the Senate bipartisan group “put something together, and we presented it to the two leaders. And, you know, I think that that’s really when the conversation really got going between them.”
Expanding upon his bipartisan bonafides, Pryor gushed that “the truth is I have many more Republicans that want to work with me, because I’ve worked with them.”
“You know, last cycle, I had a bill with Scott Brown. And I got a little pushback from some of my fellow Democrats, said, ‘You can’t help him.’ I said, ‘Look, we’re trying to pass legislation here. This is about governing.’ …One of the problems you see in Washington, it’s all politics, all the time.”
Pryor theorized that Obama is so unpopular in his home state because he “really probably got off on the wrong foot in the Democratic primary when he ran against Hillary Clinton.”
“And he never really has never been able to and never really tried to establish himself with Arkansas Democrats. And I do think that’s hurt him there,” the senator added.