Orman & Roberts Clash in Debate III
October 16, 2014

(AP) – Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts called independent candidate Greg Orman’s support of abortion rights “unconscionable” during their last debate Wednesday and suggested that helping fellow Republicans recapture a Senate majority was the top issue in their race.

Orman countered by saying he trusts women to make decisions about their reproductive health care and accused the three-term GOP incumbent of spreading “falsehoods” about him in his campaign as a centrist. Orman said that if voters believe Washington is working well, “I’m not your guy.”

Republicans have won every U.S. Senate race in the state since 1932, but this year’s race has received national attention since Democrat Chad Taylor dropped out last month, making Roberts more vulnerable and jeopardizing the GOP’s drive to win a Senate majority.

Roberts continued his attempts to unify the party by portraying Orman as a close ally of President Barack Obama and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, both Democrats.

“What this boils down to is: A vote for Pat Roberts is a vote for a Republican majority in the Senate,” Roberts said in his opening statement. “The No. 1 thing is to get a Republican majority in the United States Senate to end the gridlock and stop the Obama-Reid agenda.”

Orman responded that Roberts’ campaign is “making up facts” in tying him to Obama and Reid and said “numerous Republicans” have endorsed his campaign.

“I think we need to look past those falsehoods and pay attention to what the truth is,” Orman said.

The candidates sparred on numerous issues, including immigration and the economy, but one of their sharpest exchanges came over abortion.

Orman noted the decades of debate over abortion and said, “It prevents us from talking about other important issues, and what I’d like to see us do is start focusing on some of the big problems that we absolutely need to get our arms around if we’re going to preserve the American dream and our financial futures.”

Roberts, a strong abortion opponent, took issue with Orman’s remarks. “Get past the rights of the unborn?” Roberts said.

Later, he told Orman, “I think that’s unconscionable, Greg, I really do.”

In reply, Orman acknowledged abortion is an important issue. “I just think we’ve spent a lot of time as a country debating it, and it’s time to start debating other important issues as well,” he said.

At one point during the debate, Roberts lost his place. He also stumbled on several responses and appeared fixated on touting his endorsements.

On the issue of immigration, Orman said the country needs a policy that secures the border but is practical. He noted that many industries rely on immigrant labor and said the U.S. can’t just deport 11 million people.

Roberts, who has accused Orman of supporting amnesty for people living in the U.S. illegally, seemed to nonetheless agree with Orman, saying he never suggested the country deport 11 million people.

The two candidates had their third joint appearance in the studio at Wichita station KSN.

Afterward, Orman told reporters he hopes to send the message to other independents that they should run for public office.

Republicans need a net gain of six seats to regain control of the Senate, and it has always counted on the 78-year-old Roberts winning re-election. Orman is a wealthy 45-year-old Olathe businessman and co-founder of a private equity firm who touts his business experience.

TPX Flips. Stiffs Roberts in Primary Now Backs Him in the Fall
October 13, 2014

Kansas Senator Pat Roberts picked up the endorsement Monday of the group that endorsed his primary opponent.
The Tea Party Express (TPX), a political action committee from California, endorsed Roberts’ re-election bid in Wichita.
In the spring, the Tea Party Express endorsed Robert’s primary opponent, Dr. Milton Wolf.
At the time the group said it supported Wolf because “ unlike the career politicians that have burdened future generations under crippling debt, Milton Wolf is a conservative game changer”.”

Monday, the Wiichita Eagle quoted TPX Director Taylor Budowich said “We supported Milton Wolf in the primary, unfortunately we were unsuccessful. Our goal is to take back the Senate (for the Republican Party).”

Cruz Tells Kansas Tea Party It’s OK to Vote for Roberts
October 9, 2014

(AP) – Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is urging tea party supporters in Kansas to vote for Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, warning that staying home would empower Democrats.

Cruz appeared with Roberts and Oklahoma U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn Thursday in Wichita, helping to kick off a four-day bus tour with stops in 11 eastern Kansas communities.

Cruz says he recognizes the tea party had a hard-fought primary in Kansas, but he’s stressing the primary is over.

Roberts told the more than 100 supporters that the road to a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate runs through Kansas.

The three-term Kansas incumbent faces a tough race against independent candidate Greg Orman.

Orman is running as a centrist, pledging to break partisan gridlock.

Debate II Roberts Attacks, Orman Tries to Deflect, New Polls Have Roberts Leading
October 8, 2014

Kansas Senator Pat Roberts, went on the offensive Wednesday during the second debate against Independent candidate Greg Orman.
The debate between the two attracted nation attention because control of the US Senate may be determined by who wins the Kansas seat, which Roberts has held for three terms, since 1996.
Just hours after the debate, a CNN poll of likely voters has Roberts with a 49-48% lead.
Another new poll, from Fox News, also showed Roberts with a 44-39% lead for Roberts.
Roberts repeatedly accused Orman of not being a true Independent candidate.
He pointed out that Orman briefly ran as a 2008 Democratic candidate for the Roberts Senate seat. He also noted that Orman has contributed to Democrats like President Obama, Senate Leader Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton and Kansas Democrats.
“It proves beyond doubt he is a liberal Democrat by word, deed and campaign donation,’ Roberts said.
Orman has also donated money to Republicans. But many of his donations to the GOP are not as recent as his democratic contributions.
Orman, did try to counter Roberts’ claim.
“I actually gave money to Scott Brown in Massachusetts in 2010 precisely because he was the vote that was supposed to prevent the affordable care act from becoming law,” Orman said.
Roberts also accused Orman of supporting Obamacare.
Orman denies that. .He has characterized the Affordable Health Care Act, often called “Obamacare”, as an extension of a broken health care system.
Roberts cited the President and Senator Reid in his charge.
“All said it would be the first step toward national health insurance We don’t want or need national health insurance. We need a system that is market driven,” he said.
Orman responded.
“I think any senator who stand up here and tells you he’s going to repeal the Affordable Care Act, is ignoring the reality that President Obama will simply veto the bill.”
Roberts repeatedly tried to tie Orman to the Democrats. He brought up President Obama’s name or Democratic Senate Leader Reid’s name more than 20 times during the 70 minute debate.
Roberts said the way to end Washington gridlock is the establish a GOP majority in the Senate.
The Republicans need to pick up 6 of the available seats in the mid-term election to accomplish that, providing they hold on the Kansas seat they’ve held since FDR was President.
Roberts said Orman won’t say which party he would side with if elected.
He ridiculed his stance as an Independent candidate.
“Who will he vote for. Or will he/or just hold up a little sign and say, ‘I’m present. I’m here’?
Orman he would try to join the caucus of the party that holds the majority. If he would happen to be the tie breaking vote to determine the majority, Orman said he would not vote for either Democratic leader Reid or Republican Senate Mitch McConnell.
“I think the people in the women’s caucus in the senate Lisa Murkowski, Heidi Heitkamp, have done great jobs of demonstrating a willingness to work in a bi-partisan way. And that’s who we would work with,” he said.
Murkowski is a Republican from Alaska. Heidtkamp is a Democrat from North Dakota.
Debate was sponsored by the Chambers of Commerce of Johnson County and the Johnson county Public policy Council.
It was not as raucous as the first debate at the Kansas state fair in early August.
At that debate, on an open-air stage, the crowd cheered and booed the candidates repeatedly. It had the atmosphere of a ballgame.
The two have a final debate set for later in the month in Wichita.

Orman Talks About His Small Business Plan
October 3, 2014

(AP) – Independent Greg Orman has released a plan that he says would create a better climate for small businesses. The U.S. Senate candidate says his proposal seeks to spur investment, streamline regulations and reform student loans to create a skilled work force.

The plan was unveiled Friday as Orman toured small businesses across central Kansas. In Wichita, Orman said a U.S. senator is obligated to be an ambassador for economic development in his state.

His proposal calls for fixing financial regulations to increase small business lending and streamlining federal business programs. He also seeks a review of every federal regulation at least once a decade.

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts’ campaign quickly dismissed Orman’s plan, saying it was full of hypocrisy, fluff and deception.