Milton Wolf — the tea party cousin of President Obama — answered a lingering question Thursday by endorsing Kansas Republican Pat Roberts, his primary opponent, for senate.
The endorsement, while less than glowing, is significant as it will likely bolster Roberts’ support among small-government conservatives, a segment the three-term incumbent sorely needs as he runs neck-and-neck against independent Greg Orman.
“I urge you, I urge all Kansans, to set aside our differences and vote Republican in this critical Senate race on November 4th,” Wolf wrote on his Facebook page.
“Whatever your opinion of Pat Roberts, his re-election to the United States Senate may be the deciding factor that dethrones Harry Reid and elevates solid constitutional conservatives like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul,” Wolf continued, listing the three Republican senators he name-checked most often during his own campaign.
The trio have all stumped for Roberts in Kansas this month. Their message – as well as that of the Roberts campaign — has been that a vote for Orman is a vote to keep Senate Democrats, and Majority Leader Harry Reid, in power.
They cite Orman’s past campaign contributions to Reid and President Obama as evidence that if he is elected he will caucus with Democrats, a charge that Orman has not denied.
“America desperately needs solid constitutional conservatives in the United States Senate who will stand by the courage of their conviction, who will fearlessly stand up to Barack Obama and Harry Reid, who will offer positive solutions to America’s challenges and who can effectively communicate their ideas against a veritable storm of opposition in Washington,” Wolf wrote.
Though Roberts has said he was pressing Wolf for an endorsement, the Kansas radiologist had given no indication that he was going to offer the help. Rumors even circulated briefly last month that Wolf was going to endorse Orman. Wolf shot the speculation down on Twitter.
Wolf’s hesitation to throw his weight behind Roberts likely stems from their ugly primary battle. Roberts mostly ignored Wolf, including the challenger’s numerous debate offers, but when the incumbent did pay attention it was to slam Wolf over a scandal involving x-rays of patients with gun wounds that the radiologist had commented on at his Facebook page years before.
Wolf’s supporters also believed that the Roberts camp may have been behind an ethics complaint filed shortly before the GOP primary with the Kansas Board of Healing Arts over the radiologist’s Facebook posts.
For his part, Wolf relentlessly blasted Roberts over claims that he is not a Kansas resident — a criticism that still haunts Roberts in his run against Orman.
That lingering resentment is evident in Wolf’s endorsement.
“Be assured that if Pat Roberts is to be re-elected, I will do everything in my power to hold his feet to the fire,” Wolf wrote.
“And be assured that the fullness of the duplicity, dishonesty and abuse of power that has marked this election will be exposed. I have refused to be intimidated by their threats or seduced by their bribes and I won’t start now.”