Saying that he would break the partisan “nonsense that’s literally strangling our country,” former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel endorsed Democrat Bob Kerrey in Nebraska’s increasingly competitive U.S. Senate race on Thursday.
“Bob has never shied away from any of the tough issues,” Hagel said in endorsing the 69-year-old Kerrey at separate news conferences in Omaha and Lincoln.
“We must put an end to this senseless and irresponsible partisan paralysis that has locked down our government,” said the former two-term lawmaker who had been briefly rumored to be a possible Obama vice-presidential running mate in 2008.
“America is sick of it,” asserted Hagel. “We must start working together again for the good our country. Partisan ideology will not get the job done.”
Kerrey, a former Nebraska governor and U.S. Senator who is mounting a political comeback after nearly a dozen years on the sidelines, is waging a spirited come-from-behind campaign against the GOP’s Deb Fischer in that heavily-Republican state.
An Omaha World-Herald survey published late last week showed Fischer, who had led by double-digits throughout most of the summer and early autumn, with a narrow 48 percent to 45 percent lead over Kerrey.
Kerrey, who ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992, won his last race in the Cornhusker State in 1994 when he defeated Republican Jan Stoney, a retired telecommunications executive, by a margin of 317,297 votes to 260,668.