Orman, Roberts trade barbs over web video

Orman, Roberts trade barbs over web video

Mary Clarkin
The Hutchinson News

The Greg Orman campaign watched the first web video released Friday by opponent U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Dodge City, and said it sounded phony. That was true.

The video spliced together instances during the Kansas State Fair debate Saturday, when Orman said he agreed with Roberts.

However, it also had Orman, an independent, saying: “By the way, just so we’re clear, I agree with the Senator.” However, the video broke away from Orman before the sentence was completed and a false audio was inserted.

What Orman said Saturday is:

“By the way, just so we’re clear, I agree that both chambers of commerce are run, or Congress, are run in an overly partisan way.” Orman was responding to a question about ensuring long-term funding of Social Security.

The web video, labeled “Pretender,” said Orman, an Olathe businessman, is pretending to be a conservative like Roberts. “Greg Orman stands for nothing, and is willing to say anything to get elected,” Roberts’ campaign manager Corry Bliss said in a press release announcing the video.

The Orman campaign called on the Roberts team “to pull the false ad.”

“It’s a web video,” Bliss told The News when asked whether it would pull the ad.

If you watch the entirety of it, Bliss continued, you’ll see that it’s “absolutely 100 percent within context.”

Orman followed his reference to Congress being run “in an overly partisan way” with:

“I agree that (Democratic Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid is stopping progress on a lot of things, but so are the Republicans in the House. With that said, in terms of the question of the Social Security, and I like the fact that Sen. Roberts is talking about our $18 trillion debt, but let’s not forget in the last decade Sen. Roberts voted for almost every spending bill. The presidential election in 2000 was the only election in my lifetime where we were talking about what to do with surpluses. And after Sen. Roberts and Harry Reid went through spending, we spent trillions of dollars in the first half of that decade, taking surpluses and turning them into deficits. So the idea that you’re fiscally conservative is not necessarily demonstrated by the evidence.”

The Roberts video also wrongly claimed Orman ran against Roberts once before as a Democrat.

Six years ago, Orman launched a campaign for the Democratic nomination for Senate. He dropped out and was not on the primary ballot. Democrat Jim Slattery was the party’s nominee in 2008.

Roberts won the August 2008 GOP primary, and he defeated Slattery in the November general election.

Orman’s race as a Democrat in 2008 was in the “same election cycle” as Roberts’ re-election race, Bliss said.

“Greg Orman calling anything, let alone this ad, ‘deceptive’ is laughable. The only deception is Greg Orman claiming to be anything but a phony politician that will say or do anything to win an election,” Bliss said in a statement.


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