Vulnerable Kansas Senator: We Are Heading Toward ‘National Socialism’

September 23, 2014 1:48 p.m.

Incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), who is facing an unexpectedly fierce challenge for re-election, warned Monday at a campaign stop that the United States is heading for “national socialism.”

It’s not clear whether Roberts intended to make a reference to Nazism or simply meant to invoke the run of the mill looming specter of socialism.

American Bridge, the liberal opposition research group that tracks Republican candidates, posted the video of Roberts’s remarks at a Dodge City event.

“There’s a palpable fear among Kansans all across this state that the America that we love and cherish and honor will not be the same America for our kids and grandkids,” Roberts said, “and that’s wrong. That’s very wrong.”

He lamented that people are “losing faith in their government” and that the government “is losing faith in our people. That is a bad situation to be in.” He said he was running to change that dynamic.

“We have to change course because our country is heading for national socialism,” Roberts said. “That’s not right. It’s changing our culture. It’s changing what we’re all about.”

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According to TPM’s PollTracker average, Roberts trails independent candidate Greg Orman by 1 point, 39 percent to 38 percent.

UPDATE: 2:20 p.m. ET

The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker asked Roberts about the line Tuesday.

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