Kansas Sen. Roberts Fires Back at Milton Wolf Supporters

Friday, 14 Feb 2014 08:30 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Republican Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts — under attack from tea party challenger Milton Wolf for not living in Kansas full-time — is battling back by charging Wolf's biggest backers are donors from out of state.

The three-term senator, who revealed to The New York Times earlier this month that he pays rent to stay in the home of two donors when he's in Kansas, released a new ad Friday that included a barbed swipe at the Senate Conservatives Fund, which is backing Wolf, a radiologist who is President Obama's second cousin and a frequent critic of Obamacare.

“Seems like there are a lot of people from a lot of places outside of Kansas trying to tell Kansas who our senator should be," a female narrator says. "And those outsiders support Milton Wolf.”

The narrator claims more of Wolf’s donors come from Texas than Kansas, and that his biggest contributor is “a Washington, D.C. group that doesn’t know or understand Kansas” — a veiled reference to the Senate Conservatives Fund.

The narrator then suggests Wolf used "the liberal New York Times" to attack Roberts.

“That’s about as far away from Kansas values as you can get,” she intones, portraying Roberts, in contrast, as a “tough tested and trusted conservative for Kansas.”

In the escalating ad battle, Wolf launched his own attack earlier this week that hammered Roberts as a Beltway insider who's out of touch with the voters back home, The Hill reports.

“Pat Roberts doesn’t live in Kansas,” a narrator says in Wolf's ad. “He lives in Virginia. Right by Washington, where Roberts has been for 47 years.”

Story continues below video.

Roberts' campaign responded the lawmaker does own a home in Kansas, but rents it out, The Hill reports.

Still, Wolf’s campaign believes the attack on Roberts’ residency targets crucial vulnerabilities: that he’s not well-known, and that he's lost touch because of his years in Washington, The Hill reports.

Wolf also contends at least 78 percent of Roberts' warchest has come from outside the state, and that he's cast 19 absentee votes out of the past 22, The Hill reports.

In response to Roberts' new attack, Wolf spokesman Ben Hartman told The Hill: “Did Senator Roberts record that disclaimer at the end in Kansas or in his home state of Virginia?”

And Matt Hoskins, the Senate Conservative Fund's executive director, called the message "extremely hypocritical coming from a politician who lives in Virginia and hasn't actually lived in Kansas for over 15 years."

"It shows how worried Senator Roberts is that voters will find out that he has been lying to them about where he lives," he told The Hill.

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