Kansas senator Pat Roberts hit back today at a New York Times story questioning whether the senator has a residence in his home state.
“We had an interview with Jonathan Martin where we discussed the senator’s residency, and what turned up in the story is a distortion,” Sarah Little, the Roberts campaign’s communications director, tells National Review Online.
Little says the senator is in Wichita today and goes back to the state whenever he can, and that the Times piece is a hit job.
The Times reporter, Jonathan Martin, leads his story with a man-in-the-street interview of retiree Jerald Miller held at a restaurant across the street from the address listed on Roberts’s voter registration.
“They talked to one person in Dodge City, Kansas, who is apparently empirical evidence for the senator’s trips to the state,” Little says.
The Times piece says the senator is “desperate to re-establish ties to Kansas.” Little says that statement is false, and that Roberts’ ties to Kansas are as strong as ever.
The senator, she told NRO, goes back to Kansas at least once or twice every month and has visited 72 of the state’s counties this Congress. His election began a more conservative era for the state’s politicians, she says.
In a statement provided to NRO, she writes the following:
Also false is the statement that Senator Roberts “acknowledged he does not have a home of his own in Kansas.” Senator Roberts told the reporter just the opposite, both verbally and in writing.
The statement continues, taking aim at the reporter:
Reporter Jonathan Martin came to us with a clear agenda. In an interview with the Senator, Martin scoffed at the fact Pat is proud to call Dodge City home. Martin even told us he didn’t understand why Pat bothered to live in western Kansas when it was so far away. He suggested Pat should live in Kansas City.
Martin did not let facts stand in the way of his agenda.
The reporter found two people who said they did not know Senator Roberts. Martin did not bother to find thousands of others who know the Senator well.