Hagel Endorses Kerrey; GOP Says It Won't Change the Race

By: Amaka Ubaka, Brian Mastre contributed to this report Email
By: Amaka Ubaka, Brian Mastre contributed to this report Email

Former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel -- a republican -- has endorsed Bob Kerrey -- a democrat -- in his bid to return to the U.S. Senate. The GOP says it won't change the results of the election.

Hagel spoke Thursday afternoon in Omaha about working together across party lines with Kerrey during their time together in the Senate. He told Channel 6 News that part of the reason for the endorsement is he’s tired of partisan ideology.

“Leadership is character and courage. Bob has demonstrated both in everything he’s done. If there was ever a time for Nebraska, for this country, to send this kind of trusted and experienced integrity to Washington it is sure now.”

In Lincoln, Kerrey's opponent Deb Fischer had her own firepower as she stopped in several cities on Thursday with Governor Dave Heineman and Senator Mike Johanns by her side. "I have a record that I'm proud of. Mr. Kerrey doesn't talk about his record because it is not in line with what Nebraska wants."

Hagel spoke about Kerrey’s persistence in tackling tough issues and being a veteran. “I know Bob is a fellow Vietnam veteran. He’s seen the horror and consequences of war. I wish I could say that for more members of Congress.”

Hagel said Kerrey didn't ask for his endorsement, he offered it.

Fischer doesn't believe the Hagel's endorsement of Kerrey will turn the election. "Senator Johanns really laid out the choices in this election are pretty clear. He says he needs my help if we're going to make a change."

Senator John McCain will endorse Fischer on Friday morning at Eppley Airfield. Heineman, Johanns and Congressman Lee Terry will also appear.

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