With Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Chuck Hassebrook telling the Associated Press today that he’s “staying in the race, no matter who else enters it,” National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Communications Director Brian Walsh issued the following statement today regarding liberal Democrat Bob Kerrey’s possible candidacy for the U.S. Senate.
“As Harry Reid and his liberal friends in Washington twist Bob Kerrey’s arm, it’s clear even Democrats in Nebraska are increasingly frustrated with this charade. Between Kerrey’s support for Barack Obama’s intrusive government-run healthcare law and his job-killing, cap-and-trade proposal, it’s no wonder that even Kerrey’s fellow Democrats don’t appear to have much confidence in his candidacy.”
What Democrats Are Saying …
DEMOCRAT CHUCK HASSEBROOK: ”Bob Kerrey is a man of integrity,” Hassebrook said in a statement Monday. “He told me as recently as a few days ago that he would assist my campaign. I gave up my seat on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents based on his word. I do not believe he would go back on it.” (Margery Beck, Consultant: Bob Kerrey reconsidering US Senate run, Associated Press, 02/27/12)
NEBRASKA DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEEMAN VINCE POWERS: “I support Chuck Hassebrook, and I made my commitment to Chuck. Bob said he wasn’t running. It would have been great if he wanted to run. But he didn’t, and the train has left the station.” (Robynn Tysver, Kerrey in Neb., Hassebrook firm, Omaha World-Herald, 2/28/12)
NEBRASKA DEMOCRAT CHAIRMAN OF COUNTY CHAIRS BUD PETTIGREW: “When presented with the [Kerrey] news, Bud Pettigrew, the Nebraska Democratic chairman of county chairs, told POLITICO, ‘I don’t think there’d be a lot of happy people.’” (David Catanese, Kerrey change of heart leaves Hassebrook flat-footed, Politico, 02/27/12)
- Pettigrew said Kerrey’s reversal would shock him because he heard the original decision was based on Kerrey’s children. “He has a son who they didn’t want to pull out of the New York City school system,” he said. (David Catanese, Kerrey change of heart leaves Hassebrook flat-footed, Politico, 02/27/12)
DEMOCRAT CONSULTANT: “[S]ome Democrats privately expressed their displeasure with the ill-timed leak. ‘True or not true, the leak is frustrating and damaging because it takes the control of the message away from the candidate,’ a Democratic consultant told Roll Call. ‘Apparently, we have a bunch of bozos masquerading as political operatives in D.C. You wonder if they actually wear their clown makeup to the office.’” (David Drucker, Nebraska’s Hamlet Moment, Roll Call, 02/28/12)
What The Press Is Saying ….
WALL STREET JOURNAL: “Mr. Kerrey would face stiff headwinds in Republican-leaning Nebraska, but without him, Democrats conceded privately their chance are small.” (Naftali Bendavid, Kerrey ‘Leans Strongly’ Toward Nebraska Senate Bid, Wall Street Journal, 02/27/12)
ROLL CALL: “Regardless of what Kerrey decides to do, the GOP is expected to win the seat of retiring Sen. Ben Nelson (D) at this point.” (David Drucker, Nebraska’s Hamlet Moment, Roll Call, 02/28/12)
MCCOOK DAILY GAZETTE: “[Kerrey's] certainly to the left of most Nebraskans, particularly greater Nebraska, voting against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, opposing the flag burning amendment, receiving a 4 percent rating from the National Right to Life Committee on abortion issues, and supporting universal health care in his presidential campaign, despite giving few of his restaurant or fitness club employees health insurance. He’s open to being accused of being a carpet bagger and an opportunist. (Kerrey proves again he’s unpredictable, McCook Daily Gazette, 02/28/12)
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR: “Even if Kerrey were to enter the race, a win would not be a slam dunk, political analysts say. Nebraska has swung conservative and retiring Sen. Ben Nelson (D) has often voted with Republicans, in a nod to voter sensibilities back home.” (Gail Chaddock, If Bob Kerrey runs for Senate, can he save the majority for Democrats?, Christian Science Monitor, 02/27/12)
USA TODAY: “[Kerrey] retired from the Senate in 2001 and went on to lead the New School, a liberal arts college in New York City, until his resignation last year. Kerrey raised the New School’s profile but had a sometimes rocky tenure at the institution, garnering complaints from some faculty members and students for his management practices. The faculty overwhelmingly gave Kerrey a vote of no confidence in 2008, and there were student protests during his tenure in 2008 and 2009.” (Catalina Camia, Report: Bob Kerrey changes mind, will run for Senate, USA Today, 02/27/02)