Democrat Bob Kerrey said today different philosophies of government will compete in the campaign for United States Senate.
Kerrey is on a two-day campaign swing across the state the day after the primary election. During a campaign stop in Lincoln, Kerrey made light of comments by Republican nominee Deb Fischer after her surprising primary election win.
“State Sen. Deb Fischer last night said that we need somebody who’s different, somebody who is strong and somebody who is a Nebraskan and I thought she was about ready to endorse me,” Kerrey joked.
Kerrey said he has worked in the past, both as governor and as a United States Senator, with Republicans to solve the nation’s problems. He cast Fischer as a conservative unwilling to work with Democrats to bring down the deficit or resolve other problems facing the nation. Kerrey said that won’t work in Congress.
“Because I don’t think you are going to be able to solve this budget problem if you merely come at this thing and say that the Republicans are always right or the Democrats are always right,” Kerrey stated. “Republicans and Democrats are going to have to be sufficiently patriotic that they come together to finally get this debt and deficit problem behind us as we did in Nebraska in the 80s and as we did in the 1990s.”
Kerrey added he believes the country needs to work to narrow the widening wealth gap in the county. And, he said he supports the federal health care law, a topic he promises to bring up during the campaign.
Republicans have claimed that the U.S. Senate race between Kerrey and Fischer will boil down to New York values versus Nebraska values. It a tag Kerrey flatly rejected.
“It doesn’t bare any resemblance to the truth. Other than that, it’s clever. That’s the best you can say about it,” according to Kerrey. “Nebraska values are values of patriotism and nobody’s ever accused me of not be patriotic. Nebraska values are values of faith, of family, of community. These are my values as well.”
Kerrey pointed out that he still has family and businesses in Nebraska. He said he left the state for a little more than ten years, because he had a job opportunity. Kerrey served as president of the New School in New York the past ten years.
AUDIO: Democrat Bob Kerrey discusses his campaign against Republcan Deb Fischer. [4:30]