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Bernie Sanders, Sam Brownback’s office exchange barbs about the poor

Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke at Bartle Hall in Kansas City on Wednesday.
Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke at Bartle Hall in Kansas City on Wednesday. deulitt@kcstar.com

America’s best-known leftist and the office of one of the most conservative governors in the nation lobbed insults at each other across the Kansas prairie Wednesday.

In his rally in Kansas City, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont called out Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas.

“Now I know that in Kansas, you’ve got a governor who likes to beat up on the poor,” Sanders said. “Well, it’s always so easy to beat up on people who are helpless, who are downtrodden. It’s always an easy target to beat up on the poor, to talk about welfare abuse among the poor.”

Eileen Hawley, a spokeswoman for the Republican governor, fired back.

“It’s hardly surprising a socialist from Vermont disagrees with the Governor’s welfare-to-work reforms,” her email said. “In Kansas we believe higher incomes and more employment for those leaving food stamps is a good thing.”

Brownback plans a news conference Thursday to talk about welfare reform. The Kansas Legislature has passed several measures designed to reduce access to income support programs by the state’s poor.

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