Sen. Pat Roberts said Friday that he has some sympathy for the challenges confronting Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as she tries to implement health care reform.
But not enough sympathy to change his view that Sebelius, a fellow Kansan, should resign or be fired.
“Mistakes are made,” said Roberts, a Republican. “But they’re not made and continued by design.”
Roberts met with reporters after a campaign rally in Johnson County featuring former House speaker Newt Gingrich.
Roberts is one of 10 GOP senators asking that Sebelius, a Democrat, either step down or be fired after the rocky start for the health care exchanges under the Affordable Care Act.
Roberts, who has known Sebelius for decades, once worked for her father-in-law. On Friday he said his 2009 support for her nomination was partly a courtesy.
“This is not personal,” Roberts said, but he added that he regretted his confirmation vote.
He also said his call for her resignation was not provoked by GOP primary opponent Milton Wolf, who has criticized Roberts for his support of Sebelius, a former Kansas governor.