In street confrontation, Sen. Roberts dismisses challenger's debate pleas

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) dismissed his primary challenger, radiologist Milton Wolf, during a face-to-face confrontation between the two on the street in Kansas on Wednesday.

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Both have spent the final week before next Tuesday’s primary touring the state and making their final pitch to voters. Wolf circled his tour back to Emporia, Kan., where Roberts had a scheduled stop, to confront him and request a debate.

"You told Kansans you would give them your word and you would give them a debate," Wolf says in a clip of the confrontation, published by the Emporia Gazette. "You have said it multiple times in multiple places. You tell us that you are tough and your tested and trusted. And I want you to keep your word. I want you to debate. I think Kansans deserve it."

Roberts responds, cutting Wolf off: “Milton, Milton, Milton. This is not the time. We have a regularly scheduled event, a listening tour event. This is not the way to conduct yourself.”

He and his staff begin to walk off, and Milton asks, “When would be the time, senator? 'Cause I’ll go anywhere you like.”

Wolf has repeatedly demanded Roberts debate him, a request that the senator has dismissed, just as he did Wednesday. He remains a heavy favorite for reelection, despite damning reports revealing he rents out the home he owns in the state and stays with donors when he returns to Kansas.

Though Wolf has made that detail a central focus of his attacks on Roberts, arguing it reveals how out of touch he is with the state, Wolf has also faced damning revelations that have crippled his own campaign.

Local media reported on a number of Facebook postings Wolf made where he offered off-color commentary on gruesome X-Rays, and a state ethics board is investigating the postings. Roberts’s campaigns has launched a barrage of on-air attacks on Wolf over the past two weeks highlighting that investigation and declaring Wolf “unfit for Kansas.”