Vulnerable Republican Sen. Pat Roberts used a debate Wednesday to argue his independent opponent Greg Orman is a “dyed-in-the-wool liberal Democrat” without the conviction to stand up for Kansas voters.
With polls showing his incumbency threatened, Roberts has been attempting to tie Orman to President Barack Obama and national Democrats unpopular in what has been a reliably red state. Roberts said Orman lacks “a backbone” because of his obscurity about which party he would caucus with.
“Greg Orman is no independent. He is a dyed-in-the-wool liberal Democrat by word, by deed and by campaign donations,” Roberts said.
Orman countered that has supported Republicans in the past, and that Roberts is an uncompromising partisan that has led to the gridlock that has engulfed Washington.
“I am running as an independent to reject the false choices that the two-party system has presented us with,” he said.
Kansas suddenly became home to one the nation’s most closely contested Senate races after Democrat Chad Taylor abruptly announced he would quit the race. A Roberts victory is vital for Republican chances to take back the Senate.
An NBC News/Marist poll released Sunday showed Orman with 10 point lead over Roberts.
-- Andrew Rafferty