Entries in Bob Kerrey (3)


Neb. Senate Candidate Seeks Romney, Obama, Rubio Combo Approach to Immigration

Henry S. Dziekan III/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Bob Kerrey, the former Nebraska governor and senator and the current Democratic nominee for the open senate seat in the state, appears to have a very open mind when it comes to immigration reform.

“I support the Romney plan and believe Congress should add authorizing language that supports the executive action taken by President Obama and send it to the president as quickly as possible. I would also support Senator Marco Rubio’s immigration proposal and working it into compromise legislation,” Kerrey said in a statement on Monday.

Kerrey, 68, is running in a tough race against Republican candidate Deb Fischer, a state senator and rancher whose victory in the state’s GOP primary came as somewhat of a surprise. Both candidates are hoping to fill the seat left open by the retirement of Democrat Ben Nelson.

The crux of Kerrey’s statement is not an unfamiliar one -- it’s a call for compromise on an issue that many leaders admit is very complicated.

“An action by President Barack Obama and a speech by Governor Mitt Romney have combined to form the basis for meaningful reform if only both political parties [sic] will see the wisdom of actually doing something rather than merely talking about why they cannot” Kerrey said.

But Kerrey’s support for Romney’s plan, Obama’s executive action and Rubio’s proposal is a bit confusing, given that Romney has been rather evasive on the issue of immigration as of late, toning down his rhetoric from the primaries when he voiced support for parts of Arizona’s immigration law, and advocated self-deportation of illegal immigrants.

At the annual NALEO conference last week Romney said that he would address the president’s recent executive action -- which called for a relaxing of deportation rules for young people -- by replacing it with a long-term solution. He did not lay out many specifics of this long-term solution, however.

Though lower than the national average, Nebraska actually has a sizable Latino population. The 2010 census found that 9.2 percent of Nebraskans identified themselves as having Hispanic or Latino origin. The national average is 16.3 percent.

Polling shows Fischer with a strong lead over Kerrey a little more than four months from election day.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ex-Senator from Nebraska to Run Again, Report Says

Henry S. Dziekan III/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Democrat Bob Kerrey, a former senator from Nebraska, has made a reversal and decided to run for office again, The Washington Post reports.

His decision is good news for Democrats, who feared losing the seat being vacated by Ben Nelson.  Kerrey, who was a senator from 1989 to 2001, said in early February that he wouldn’t run because it wouldn’t be right for his family.

Kerrey, 68, has told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada of his plans, the Post reported.  Reid’s office didn’t confirm the call to ABC News.

A former governor and a presidential candidate, Kerrey has faced criticism from Republicans that his real home is New York City, not the redder Nebraska.  He moved to New York to lead the New School (until 2010) after leaving the Senate.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Bob Kerrey Declines to Run; Democrats Face Tough Senate Map

Henry S. Dziekan III/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Already facing big disadvantages in Senate campaigns this year, Democrats got another dose of bad news Tuesday as former Sen. Bob Kerrey announced he won’t run in Nebraska.

Kerrey offered Democrats a glimmer of hope in their toughest state. When Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., announced his retirement in December, the state immediately topped the list of open, competitive seats Democrats will have to defend in 2012. Without Kerrey, who served in the U.S. Senate from 1989 until 2001, Democrats will have a much tougher time defeating the winner of the three-way Republican primary in this GOP-leaning state.

“As we have seen in the last several weeks, Republicans are at each other’s throats in Nebraska. The Republican primary in the state has become a proxy war between Mitch McConnell’s ethically challenged candidate Jon Bruning and Jim DeMint’s tea partier Don Stenberg, which will provide an opportunity for Democrats to remain competitive,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Matt Canter said of Kerrey’s decision.

“We continue to play offense this election cycle in Massachusetts, Nevada, Arizona, and Indiana, and remain fully confident that we will hold the majority next year.” Canter's optimism aside, Dems have a tough road ahead.

The slate of Senate elections will heavily favor Republicans in 2012. Democrats will defend 23 seats, while Republicans will defend 10. Six Democratic incumbents have declined to run: Sens. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, Nelson, and Jim Webb of Virginia. Republicans, by contrast, have only one vulnerable seat left open, vacated by retiring Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl.

Democrats will face between eight and 11 competitive races to defend seats they currently hold. The most competitive Democratic-held seats represent Hawaii, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Republicans, meanwhile, will face only two to four competitive races to hold onto seats. Competitive GOP-held seats will be contested in Arizona, Indiana, Massachusetts, and Nevada.

Democrats currently hold a Senate majority of 53 seats to Republicans’ 47, counting the two independent senators who caucus with Democrats, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.  If Republicans can defend their seats and win in four states where Democrats are vulnerable, the GOP will retake the Senate majority.

The most prominent Senate races of 2012 figure to take place in Massachusetts and Virginia.

In Massachusetts, Republican Sen. Scott Brown will face his first reelection challenge since he stunned Democrats in January 2010 by defeating Martha Coakley in the special election to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, eliminating Democrats’ 60-seat supermajority in the upper chamber. Elizabeth Warren, the Occupy movement supporter who designed President Obama’s consumer financial protection board, figures to run a well-funded campaign against Brown, focusing on income inequality and the struggling middle class.

In Virginia, former governor and Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine is running against former Sen. George Allen, who lost in 2006 to Webb amid a disastrous campaign that included Allen’s utterance of the confusing, apparent racial epithet “macaca,” which Allen later said had nothing to do with race. Both are considered strong candidates, and, like in many states, the contest may come down to President Obama’s performance in the state.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio