Greg Orman Apologizes for Calling Bob Dole (and other Republicans) Clowns

In an email to war hero and Kansas icon, Bob Dole, Greg Orman, the liberal candidate for Senator from Kansas, tried to explain that he wasn’t calling Mr. Dole a “clown.” Dole released the email to the media describing the email as an “apology,” a characterization to which the Orman campaign quickly and kind of rudely disagreed with. The Orman campaign says it is not an “apology” but a clarification, an effort to set the record straight.

Here is the email Orman sent to Dole in an attempt to clear things up…

From: Greg Orman

Date: October 31, 2014 at 8:16 PM CDT

Trending: Thomas Jefferson & the Mussulmen (Muslim)

To: Bob Dole

Subject: Letter to Senator Dole

Dear Senator Dole,

orman dole clownI’m reaching out to you directly as I understand Pat Roberts’ campaign has issued a statement accusing me of calling you (and others) “clowns.” I want to assure you that this is not true and is not my opinion of you in any way, shape or form. I have the utmost respect for you, and often speak favorably of your distinguished service to the great state of Kansas and of your ability to forge reasoned, principled and common-ground solutions with Senators from across the political spectrum (it is the skill so desperately missing in Washington today).

The remark the Roberts’ campaign is quoting has been deliberately taken out of context. My reference to a “clown car” was commenting on the near-endless number of political supporters of Senator Roberts who have piled out of Washington to support him, none of whom I think are clowns. I certainly wasn’t calling you – or any of the others supporting Senator Roberts – a “clown.” As you may have noticed during this campaign, I refuse to stoop to character assassinations, have eschewed negative campaigning and will not use rhetoric of that sort. Frankly, that kind of behavior is beneath the office I seek. Sadly, it has not been above Senator Roberts’ campaign to do the same as their false and misleading attacks on me further erode the voters’ faith in our political system.

I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you directly about this matter. My personal mobile phone number [redacted].

With highest regards,

Greg Orman


You know what? I get what Orman is saying. I can almost believe him, except that the analogy just works too perfectly. There is no way that a polished political team, such as Orman’s, would let something like “clown car” slip out there without realizing that it could be taken more than one way.

His explanation is also perfect. It is a perfect explanation of why he would say clown car while not actually meaning to portray these Republicans as “clowns.” It’s almost like the perfect “inside joke.”

I think that Orman knew exactly what he was doing when he made the comment. I think Orman knew full well that people would think he was calling the Republican supporters for Pat Roberts “clowns,” and I think he knew that he could combat it with this explanation. I also think that whenever they discussed the idea in his campaign headquarters, everyone got a good laugh because they knew they were calling his opponents clowns…

What I don’t think they expected was for the clown comment to fall straight onto the shoulders of the most famous and well-respected Kansan alive, Bob Dole. Everyone in Kansas loves Bob Dole – Republican, Democrat, Independent and non-partisan. Now the clown comment may well go down in history as the nail in the coffin of Orman’s Senate hopes.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!

Send this to a friend