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Update Exclusive: Kerrey-Bruning Ad Fight Escalates

By   /   April 17, 2012  /   12 Comments

Update: Bruning Returns Fire (updated information in red); Kerrey Camp Reacts

Jon Bruning’s Senate campaign is firing back at Bob Kerrey.

Following Nebraska Watchdog’s exclusive report (see below) which found Kerrey calling Bruning “disrespectful” of President Barack Obama—by not referring to him as “President Obama” in an ad— Bruning’s campaign says Kerrey has used similar language regarding former President George Bush.

Bruning’s campaign quotes The Villager newspaper in New York which reported last year that Kerrey said, “I felt Bush’s tax policies really disadvantaged New York.”

Campaign manger Trent Fellers adds, “While Bob Kerrey focuses on loyally defending his liberal ally, Nebraskans know the real concern is the obvious failure of the Obama Administration’s economic policies.”

Paul Johnson, Kerrey’s campaign manager disputes Bruning’s rebuttal. “There is a distinction to be made between casual conversation and a well thought out commercial in which every word is examined before it is produced,” says Johnson. “It is also a question of tone and intent.  If you watch the ad in question it is pretty clear as to the intent and the disregard.”

Bob Kerrey is accusing one of his Republican rivals of being “disrespectful” to President Barack Obama.

In an exclusive on-camera interview (see video below) with Nebraska Watchdog, Kerrey— who is running for the Senate seat being vacated by Ben Nelson—criticized one of Jon Bruning’s latest TV ads.

In that 30 second commercial Bruning refers to President Obama as “Barack Obama” and “Obama” but never as “President Obama.”

“It’s disrespectful,” says Kerrey. “I would never call President Bush ‘George Bush’…no it’s President Bush, it’s President Clinton, President Obama. Yes I think it is disrespectful.”

Asked why he thinks Bruning didn’t say “President Obama” Kerrey told Nebraska Watchdog, “I don’t know, it could be lack of experience for all I know.”

Nebraska Watchdog has contacted Bruning’s campaign about Kerrey’s comments. Bruning’s campaign has not responded to Nebraska Watchdog.

Reported by Joe Jordan, [email protected]

Editor’s note: to subscribe to News Updates from Nebraska Watchdog at no cost, click here



Joe formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.

  • Watchful one

    Hmmmm, he who frames the question puts the answer on the table? Looks to me like the interviewer thought the ad was disrespectful and solicited the confirming response. Biased reporting wperhaps? And I AM NOT A BRUNING SUPPORTER..

  • Charles

    Bruning need a lesson about government. Only courts can declare a law unconstitutional. It is his opinion that the affordable health care act is unconstitutional but in his add he state it as fact. Now I know that his add appeals to many Nebraskan. Ok guys now blast me with your right wing rants.

  • mike

    Is it disrespectful to call Merest an idiot? Oh, well.

  • Casual NE pol

    What about when Kerrey called President Clinton “an exceptionally good liar”? I don’t remember any title preceding his name then. This non-story is a joke.

  • Byron

    I will never refer to this socialist clown as my president and will not condemn Bruning for doing the same. He is a poor excuse for anyones president!

  • Internet User

    Didn’t take but a few minutes to find an example of Kerrey referring to a President by his name only. At the 32 second mark in this video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QToXde_-WYM

    Bob and Joe should be ashamed!

  • Steve

    This was an interesting exchange, but I want to see Bruning question about his choice of the word “see”. If the founding fathers could *see* what Obama has done…

    A friend of mine noticed that and suggested it implies racism, that of course the founding fathers wouldn’t like to “see” Obama, since the idea of a black man voting let alone winning the highest office in the land would have been unthinkable.

  • Alex

    Bruning will do anything to get elected and I wouldn’t buy any of his cheap and inept commentaries

  • RoadRunner

    How could President Obama have won office? Not only could he not vote, he could not own property. In fact, he WAS (or would have been) property. And finally, he would have been counted as 2/3 of a human in the first census.

    What he could have done, as Crispus Attucks did, was to fight and die for his country.

    It is amazing to me how racist and accusatory the code-words are: socialist and clown appear here. The implication is that the man is disloyal to American ideals, when in reality, he embodies the American ideal.

    Actually the man is and has been trying to bring the country together, but the opposition will have none of it. The last three years of the opposition are a disgrace to the idea of a free and democratic society.

  • Liars need good memories

    What a hypocrite.

    Who said this about a sitting President, Bob?

    “Clinton’s an unusually good liar. Unusually good”

  • Road Runner

    OK. Running for Senator from Nebraska, Bruning and the other R-words are running against a sitting President?

    Is being AGAINST SOMEBODY the only thing these candidates can think of to do?

    How about a plan to work with everyone in Congress and the White House to run the country and pull us out of this mud-hole we’re in from two wars and a recession?

  • Laughing at Rebuttal

    Paul Johnson’s rebuttal is a complete joke! Didn’t he watch Joe’s story before he provided his rebuttal quote? Another Kerrey lie to Nebraskans.

    I can’t wait for Bruning to send him back to New York for good in November.