Roberts ad hits rival over X-ray jokes

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) launched an attack ad against his Tea Party-backed primary challenger Milton Wolf on Wednesday, adding another twist to the contentious race.

The ad hits Wolf over a controversy that began in February, when The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that Wolf, a radiologist, had in 2010 mocked his patients’ X-rays in Facebook posts.

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“Dr. Milton Wolf’s patients trusted him, but stunning news reports show that Wolf exposed private patient X-rays and other personal information on Facebook — where Wolf relentlessly poked fun at the dead or wounded,” the ad says. “If Milton Wolf is so irresponsible as a doctor, how can he possibly be trusted as a U.S. senator?”

Wolf has previously attacked Roberts over a New York Times report in February saying that Roberts does not live full-time in Kansas and rents a room when he is there.

“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.”

Now there are rumblings of a possible run by outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. A former Democratic governor of the state, she would face the primary winner in the general election, but would have to overcome the animus swirling around her because of her role in overseeing ObamaCare.

Both Wolf and Roberts have acknowledged some truth in their controversies while calling them overblown.

"Several years ago I made some comments about these images that were insensitive to the seriousness of what the images revealed," Wolf said in a statement responding to the X-ray revelation. "Soon thereafter, I removed those images and comments, again several years ago. For them to be published in a much more public context now, by a political adversary who would rather declare war on doctors than answer serious questions that Kansans have, is truly sad."

Roberts’s campaign emphasized he does own a home in Kansas, but rents it out.

The senator's attack ad against Wolf has $40,000 behind it, his campaign said.