An incumbent Republican senator has said on two occasions that the United States is “headed for national socialism.” The Washington Times reported on Sept. 24. Sen. Pat Roberts made the initial comments were made last week at a town hall meeting in Dodge City, Kan. Roberts reiterated his to a reporter the next day.
In a Youtube video of the press conference, Sen. Roberts can be seen telling attendees, “There’s a palpable fear among Kansans all across the state that the America that we love and cherish will not be the same America for our kids and grandkids, and that’s wrong. One of the reasons that I’m running is to change that. There’s an easy way to do it. I’ll let you figure it out. But at any rate, we have to change course because our country is headed for national socialism. That’s not right. It’s changing our culture. It’s changing what we’re all about.”
Roberts apparently intended allude to socialism on a national scale and not to invoke Nazis, which were officially called the National Socialist Party.
The Washington Post also reported on Sept. 24 that Roberts had confirmed his fear that the country was becoming socialist the next day when responding to a reporter. “I believe that the direction he is heading the country is more like a European socialistic state,” Roberts answered. “You can’t tell me anything that he [Obama] has not tried to nationalize.”
Roberts, a senator since 1997, is in the midst of a close reelection battle against Greg Orman, a lifelong Democrat who is ostensibly an independent. Real Clear Politics rates the race as a tossup, but Roberts has trailed Orman in several recent polls.
Roberts handily defeated Milton Wolf in the 2014 Kansas Republican primary earlier this year. The race had been close until Wolf, a radiologist, was revealed to have posted and joked about x-ray images of injuries and gunshot wounds on his Facebook page.
Allegations that Roberts is no longer a resident of Kansas have also proved troublesome for his campaign. According to the Topeka Capital-Journal, Roberts’ house is Kansas is rented out and the senator rents a room in a supporter’s house. A recent revelation is that Roberts’ mortgage documents show his house in Virginia as his principle residence.
The Republican quest for a Senate majority may come down to Kansas. Republicans need to gain six seats to gain control of the Senate. Kansas is one of the few states in which the Democrats have a chance to pick off a Republican incumbent.