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Orman: No Support For Reid Or McConnell For Senate Leader

Beth Lipoff

The increasingly hot U.S. Senate race in Kansas has GOP incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts spending millions to align Independent Greg Orman with the Democrats, saying he was “handpicked” by President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Orman countered those claims during a visit to KCUR on Monday to talk to Steve Kraske on Up to Date. Among other topics, Kraske asked Orman about Roberts’ campaign to paint him as a Democrat.

Orman told Kraske that he wouldn’t have voted for Obamacare.  And, if elected, Orman said he would not support either Reid or Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell for Senate majority leader. A much better choice, Orman said, are some picks from the women’s caucus for leadership.

“Some of the senators in the women’s caucus seem to do a much better job of working together to solve problems,” Orman said. “People like Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) have demonstrated track records of working together to solve problems. I think that’s what this country needs and that’s what Kansas needs.

(To see spending in this race so far, check out the Center for Public Integrity's "Who's Buying the Senate?")

Roberts, who refused an invitation for Kraske's show, on Monday began a week-long statewidebus tour that includes Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Tom Coburn, R-Okla.

“I am proud to call Pat Roberts a friend and to endorse him in this important race for U.S. Senate,” Cruz was quoted as saying in a campaign press release. “One year ago, Pat stood by my side in the fight to defund Obamacare, and he will continue to fight against intrusive liberal policies in the U.S. Senate."

Also Monday, a new poll showed Orman with a ten-point lead on Roberts, the largest Roberts' deficit so far.

To hear the rest of Orman’s interview with Kraske, click here.

I’m a veteran investigative reporter who came up through newspapers and moved to public media. I want to give people a better understanding of the criminal justice system by focusing on its deeper issues, like institutional racism, the poverty-to-prison pipeline and police accountability. Today this beat is much different from how reporters worked it in the past. I’m telling stories about people who are building significant civil rights movements and redefining public safety. Email me at lowep@kcur.org.
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