Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) is questioning his primary opponent's ties to Kansas.
Roberts, under attack after a New York Times report that he doesn't live in Kansas full-time, released a new ad on Friday that contends primary challenger Milton Wolf is being propped up by forces outside the state.
The woman goes on to charge that 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 knock on the Senate Conservatives Fund, a major national conservative group that has backed Wolf.
And she echoes a charge levied against the NYT by Roberts’s campaign, that their reporter pursued the piece with an agenda geared against Roberts. The ad suggests Wolf is “using the liberal New York Times” to attack Roberts.
“That’s about as far away from Kansas values as you can get,” the ad declares.
In contrast, Roberts is labeled “a tough tested and trusted conservative for Kansas.”
Roberts has spent most of the past week fighting back questions about where he lives after the Times reported he doesn't live in Kansas full time and pays rent to donors to stay with them when he returns.
Wolf launched an ad earlier this week slamming Roberts as out of touch.
“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 forty-seven years.”
Wolf’s campaign believes the attack on Roberts’s residency is a potent one, highlighting what it believes is a key vulnerability in the race: that he’s not well-known, and is seen as out of touch because of his decades in Washington.
Roberts’s campaign has fired back by pointing out that Roberts does own a home in Kansas, even though he rents it out.
In response to the new ad from Roberts, Wolf and his supporters argued that at least 78 percent of what Roberts has raised has come from outside the state.
Wolf’s campaign also noted that Roberts has voted absentee 19 out of the past 22 times he’s cast a ballot.
“Did Senator Roberts record that disclaimer at the end in Kansas or in his home state of Virginia?” asked Ben Hartman, Wolf’s spokesman.
Matt Hoskins, SCF’s executive director, said the ad was a sign Roberts is worried.
“This is 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 said.