December 19, 2014

Kerrey says race is tightening, denies he’ll go negative rest of way (AUDIO)

Democrat Bob Kerrey claims an internal poll shows he’s gaining ground on Republican Deb Fischer in their United States Senate race.

The public opinion poll taken by Hickman Analytics indicates the race to replace retiring United States Sen. Ben Nelson, a Democrat, has narrowed considerably, from double-digits earlier this year to a split of 50% for Fischer and 45% for Kerrey. The Fischer campaign has cast doubt on the pollster’s methods and motivation.

The Kerrey campaign has spent the past week harshly criticizing Fischer for a land dispute with a neighbor settled in 1997. Kerrey denied, though, during an interview on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN’s Drive Time Lincoln that he plans to go negative the rest of the campaign.

Kerrey told host Kevin Thomas the issue has relevance in the campaign, but that the big difference between him and Fischer is that he has been specific about what means he believes are necessary to reduce the federal deficit and move the country toward a balanced budget.

“If you want somebody who is going to go back there and fight to change our Congress, which has become way too partisan and way too dysfunctional, I have made specific pledges to you what I’m going to do to make Congress change,” Kerrey told Thomas. “If you want to balance our budget, the only way to get it done is bi-partisan. The only way to get it done is with shared sacrifice and that’s what I’ve laid out in this campaign.”

Kerrey asserted he has the experience needed to be effective in Washington.

“If you want somebody who has demonstrated the capacity to fight for rural issues and rural economic development and agriculture, I have demonstrated that capacity. If you want somebody who knows how to develop public-private partnerships that allow, such as we’ve done with our university, us to really build value-added economy, I know how to do that,” Kerrey stated.

While Kerrey acknowledged he might be perceived as liberal to many in Nebraska, he insisted he understands the conservative frustration with regulations and taxes.

“I’ve been in business in Nebraska since 1973 and I know, in fact one of my criticisms of the Obama Administration is they’ve been far too willing to impose regulation on business,” according to Kerrey. “And there’s cost attached to it. You can’t even employ yourself unless you get the government’s permission.”

Kevin Thomas, KLIN, contributed to this report.

AUDIO: Democrat Bob Kerrey talks with Kevin Thomas on KLIN’s Drive Time Lincoln. [10 min.]