|I've said this before, but-- I really really hope that Nebraskans send Bob Kerrey back to the Senate. Even Alan Simpson hopes so. My bolding below.|
Republican Simpson backs Democrat Kerrey in Neb. Senate race
By DAVID ROGERS | 10/29/12 5:34 PM EDT
Former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson endorsed the uphill Senate campaign of Democrat Bob Kerrey in Nebraska Monday, describing his former colleague as a friend and someone willing to “place the national interest ahead of the howling special interests” in addressing the federal debt and entitlement reforms.
Recent polls show Kerrey closing in on Republican Deb Fischer, and the Simpson endorsement appears timed to give the Democrat an added boost in reaching out to independent and GOP voters in this last week before the election.
“We’ve had a long friendship going back to legislation we worked on together and the Danforth Commission,” Simpson told POLITICO, speaking of a 1990’s entitlement reform panel co-chaired by then Sen. John Danforth (R-Mo.) and Kerrey. “I said `Can I help?’ and I did.”
Simpson, a former Senate Republican whip in the 80’s and 90’s, represented Wyoming for three terms in Senate but is best known today as an activist promoting bipartisan efforts to address future deficits through a combination of spending cuts and added tax revenues. Together with Erskine Bowles — Bill Clinton’s White House chief of staff — Simpson co-chaired a presidential debt commission in 2010 and has remained at the forefront with Bowles in trying to break the logjam in Congress.
Among Senate campaigns this year, the two men have backed Angus King, running as an independent in Maine. But to come out publicly for Kerrey — whom Bowles already endorsed — is striking for even a maverick like Simpson given his substantial Republican credentials.
“The point is to keep pissing people off and at 81 I’ve reached the apex of my career,” Simpson joked, but he has proven passionate about pushing ahead on the deficit issue.
“Erskine and I are supporting Bob Kerrey because he has told Nebraskans the honest truth about the critical necessity of assuring the 75-year solvency of the Social Security system, and stabilizing Medicare and Medicaid in a way that preserves and strengthens the needed protections for seniors and the most vulnerable in our society,” Simpson said in his statement released Monday.
“Bob and I often worked together in the U.S. Senate in a bipartisan way…He will place the national interest ahead of the howling special interests and be ready to make the hard, tough choices so needed today to rein in the destructive national debt and deficit and craft thoughtful solutions for these precious Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs in such a manner as to assure that they will “be there” for our children and grandchildren – and do it now - Before it’s too late.”