By John Celock
A Republican senator fighting for his political life is continuing his attacks on President Barack Obama, saying the president is “asleep at the wheel” over Ebola.
U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), who is locked in a tough reelection race, told Sean Hannity on Hannity’s radio show Friday afternoon that he believes that Obama’s Ebola czar pick, Ron Klain, has “absolutely zero” experience for coordinating the federal government’s response to the public health crisis. Obama announced the Klain appointment Friday. Roberts, who is facing off against independent Greg Orman, had sharp words for Obama on the show.
“He’s two steps behind and asleep at the wheel,” Roberts told Hannity on Friday.
Klain, who served as chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden and former Vice President Al Gore, will coordinate work between various federal agencies on the Ebola issue. His appointment caps a week of meetings between Obama and his senior staff and Cabinet to coordinate a response to the crisis. Klain, an attorney, is presently head of Steve Case’s holding company.
“His credentials for being the Ebola czar are absolutely zero,” Roberts said Friday.
Roberts used much of the show to repeat his standard attack lines against Orman, including saying that Orman will be another vote for Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in the Senate. He also attacked Orman’s views on immigration and Obamacare, along with noting Orman’s ties to Democrats. Orman has not indicated which party he will caucus with in the Senate, but has said he would vote for neither Reid or McConnell for majority leader.
The race between Orman and Roberts became more competitive after Democrat Chad Taylor dropped out of the race last month. Roberts has cited Ebola before, using a debate earlier this week to use the public health crisis as an example for the need for tighter border security.
Roberts has regularly attacked Obama during the race. Obama, the son and grandson of Kansas natives, is deeply unpopular in the state.
On Hannity’s show Friday, Roberts said that he is concerned the the military has not received the proper training for Ebola in order to help combat the virus in west Africa.
“I’m very worried about our armed services being sent over there,” Roberts said. “They don’t have the proper training. Four hours of training doesn’t get it.”
Roberts did stress though that he believes the military would follow all procedures and do a good job. He then referred back to his own experience in the Marines.
“The Marines can do just about anything. I’m senior Marine in Congress,” Roberts said. “They do what comes down and they do it well.”