At the eleven minute mark of this 15 minute interview, Kansas Senator Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) is reduced to a stumbling, bumbling pile of a 47 years in Washington incumbent who can’t manage to coherently explain why he doesn’t actually live in Kansas anymore.
And perhaps the worst of it is when he admits that he does click his heels together to go back to Kansas on occasion …. seemingly only when he gets an opponent. Roberts may not have distinguished himself as that much of a wizard in D.C. over the years but if a slot opens up in Oz, perhaps Dorothy will consider him as a write in after hearing this embarrassing performance.
Asked about his residency during an interview Thursday with talk radio station KCMO in Mission, Kansas, Roberts said: “Every time I get an opponent — I mean, every time I get a chance, I’m home.”
Yes, the residency portion of the interview really is that bad, leaving a broad opening to his opponent Dr. Milton Wolf, as Politico points out here.
“Pat Roberts has been in Washington for 47 years, and for him now to admit that he comes ‘home’ to Dodge City only when he gets an opponent is a slap in the face to Kansans,” he said in a statement.
… the gaffe reinforces a criticism that Roberts is too close to Washington and out of touch with his state. The New York Times reported in February that the senator is a “virtual stranger” in his home state, renting out his Dodge City property and staying with two donors when he stays in Kansas.
As per the New York Times at link above: “It is hard to find anyone who has seen Senator Pat Roberts here at the redbrick house on a golf course that his voter registration lists as his home. Across town at the Inn Pancake House on Wyatt Earp Boulevard, breakfast regulars say the Republican senator is a virtual stranger.”
When pressed in the recent radio interview, not only did Roberts fail to address the residency issue adequately, it also becomes very clear he is doing everything he can to avoid debating Wolf. Perhaps the trip back to Kansas would be a little too much for Roberts after spending almost fifty years in Washington.
“Right, but you don’t — you’re not answering the question. Why don’t you live here, though?” Knapp said.
Later in the interview, Knapp said that average Kansans “think the person would spend more time in their state than in the District [of Columbia].”
Wolf’s campaign has often attacked Roberts on the issue, even publishing a timeline on its campaign website about his history of residency.