I was almost starting to feel sorry for Shane Osborn.
After all, he had been spurned by the conservative movement in favor of a fresher face named Ben Sasse, had been unceremoniously un-endorsed (for really no good reason) by FreedomWorks, had his military service questioned, and was effectively “swift-boated” in an ad paid for by an outside group.
But, having been outmaneuvered by Sasse, instead of going out with his head held high, a desperate Osborn now appears to be grasping at straws.
A new campaign-trail pledge to vote against any immigration increases took center stage in the Nebraska GOP Senate primary race on Friday, when candidate Shane Osborne slammed his rival for not signing the pledge and also charged him with deception.
“Nebraskans are learning that Ben Sasse isn’t the candidate he’s pretending to be [and] on the most important issues of the day, from Immigration to ObamaCare, Sasse is no conservative,” said a statement from the campaign, only four days before voting begins on Tuesday.
Aside from the obvious points about Osborn being down in the polls — and this being a desperate move made just a couple days before the primary election — it’s important to consider just what this “pledge” is — and what it is not.
This is not a pledge merely to oppose “amnesty,” nor is this a group strictly opposed to illegal immigration. As Jonathan Strong points out, “The pledge, from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), asks candidates to vow to oppose amnesty, increases in legal immigration, and increases in the number of guest workers.”
They don’t just want to stop illegal immigration, they want to stop…immigration. And Osborn is attacking Ben Sasse because he hasn’t (at the time of this writing) acceded to these pressure tactics to endorse this nativist message.
It’s quite sad, really. With his campaign faltering, Shane Osborn has decided this is the way he wants to go out. Not above the fray, but instead, in the mud.