White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs released the following statement in response to tonight's Massachusetts special election results. Republican Scott Brown handily defeated the once double-digit favorite Democrat Martha Coakley. He becomes the first Republican to hold this Senate seat since John F. Kennedy beat Henry Cabot Lodge in 1952. His brother, the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, held the seat for almost five decades. Senator-elect Brown's stunning upset throws the Democrats' plans for health care reform into turmoil as when he is seated, he will take away Senate Democrats' filibuster-proof 60-seat majority.

“This evening the President spoke to both candidates in the hard-fought Massachusetts Senate race. The President congratulated Senator Brown on his victory and a well-run campaign. The President told Senator Brown that he looks forward to working with him on the urgent economic challenges facing Massachusetts families and struggling families across our nation.

The President thanked Attorney General Coakley for her hard work and urged her to continue her advocacy on behalf of working people.”