By John Celock
A day following a debate that largely centered on the talking points of both candidates, U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) launched two new attacks on his opponent, independent Greg Orman, Thursday.
Roberts launched a new ad attacking Orman’s stance on Obamacare, while also sending out a robocall to 500,000 voters across the state regarding a Thursday fundraiser Orman had scheduled in New York City with liberal activist Jonathan Soros. Roberts has been quick to attack Orman over the fundraiser, saying that it calls out Orman’s agenda.
“Today, Greg Orman is in New York City at a fundraiser hosted by the family of George Soros and the liberal elite,” the Roberts call said. “These out of state millionaires are pro-abortion, pro-amnesty, pro-Obamacare liberal democrats just like Greg Orman.”
In addition to Soros, Orman’s fundraiser is being co-hosted by several banking executives with histories of donating to Democrats. The event is being held at the Central Park West co-op of John and Karen Petry, both longtime Democratic donors. One of the co-hosts, Gavin Wolfe, has donated to Republican candidates.
Orman has not indicated which party he would caucus with in the Senate, but has said he would not support either Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) or Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for majority leader. Roberts has tried to paint Orman as the de facto Democratic candidate, citing his contributions to Democrats in the past and a brief 2008 Democratic U.S. Senate campaign. Orman has stressed that he is independent of both parties and noted that in 2010 he donated money to former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) in an effort to stop Obamacare.
Democrat Chad Taylor dropped out of the Senate contest last month and Democrats did not replace him on the ballot. The Kansas Senate race has become one of the most competitive in the country.
During Wednesday night’s debate, both candidates stuck in general to the themes that have dominated their campaigns. Orman stressed that he is independent of both parties and noted that he has created jobs in the private sector. He also noted that he can fix Washington. Roberts attacked President Barack Obama and Reid and said that Orman would be supportive of the two of them.
Orman noted that he is pro-choice and detailed an immigration plan that would allow illegal immigrants to register with the government and pay a small fine to continue to work in the United States. He said that the illegal immigrant population is necessary for the Kansas agriculture, beef and dairy industries. Roberts attacked what he said is Orman’s support for amnesty and cited the need for increased border security, saying it was necessary due to Ebola and ISIS. Orman also said he wants to send U.S. officials to Central American countries to tell parents not to send their children to the U.S. since they would be turned away.
Orman also cited what he said is local business officials across the state saying that he was needed in the Senate, along with a plan to reduce small business regulations, which he said would help small business and the aviation industry. Roberts responded by touting his endorsements from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business, and noted that he has advocated for aviation. Roberts said that he has defended the aviation industry, largely centered in Wichita, to Obama and reminded the president that his mother, the late Ann Dunham, is a Wichita native.