By MATTHEW KENWRIGHT
Approximately 60 people attended the Big First Tea Party's meeting Tuesday at Thirsty's Brew Pub & Grill to meet the primary challenger to U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.
Dr. Milton Wolf, a diagnostic radiologist from the Kansas City area, shared his support for the Constitution, pro-life movement, Second Amendment and privatized health care.
The evening began with a contentious exchange between Wolf and Roger Ewing, the tea party member who organized the candidate forum.
Ewing said Wolf's campaign announcement speech revealed he did not support Medicare, but Wolf said the claim was false. The speech could not be played at the meeting because of technical issues.
Ewing said he only was trying to state the facts.
The video can be found online. Wolf criticized President George W. Bush-era Republicans for increasing the national debt, and he mentioned Medicare.
"It was our party that gave the largest expansion to Medicare in the history of the program," he said in the speech after the 10-minute mark.
During his candidate forum, Wolf repeated the line and clarified his stance on the program. He also said the government needs to keep its promises for the future of the program.
"I have never, never, never said I oppose Medicare," he said.
Wolf said Republicans have strayed from their values.
"Our party has not been loyal to its own principles," he said. "Our party was supposed to be the party that stood up for the Constitution. Our party was supposed to stand for less government, less taxes, less spending. And our party failed."
The doctor advocated for repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with his Patient Care plan. The system would allow people to choose their own plans, change jobs and carry the coverage and keep it as long as they paid.
Running for office was not his first choice.
"I'm a doctor, I practice medicine, and I really don't want a career in politics. But our country is in so much trouble right now," he said.
Wolf promised only to serve two terms if elected and continue to practice medicine.
The candidate criticized Roberts for reports the senator does not maintain a residence in Kansas.
"He didn't have a home in Kansas until I ran for office in October of last year," Wolf said. "He now rents a room at a donor's house on a golf course. Now, the donor can't remember the last time he was there."
Wolf scrutinized Roberts' votes to raise the debt ceiling 11 times and confirm U.S. Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius.
"Whether he has a residence in a rented room in Kansas or whether he lives in Virginia, he's not voting like a Kansan," Wolf said. "He's certainly not voting like a conservative."
The doctor advocated for closing the Internal Revenue Service and using the FairTax. Wolf also opposes Common Core and the U.S. Department of Education.
Ewing said it was easy for Wolf to criticize an incumbent.
"I would say typical speech. Somebody who is running against somebody who had the record, and he has no record to defend," Ewing said. "He said everything that people wanted to hear."
A poll during the forum showed Wolf unanimously beating Roberts if the primary election was Tuesday.
Roberts is expected to attend a Big First Tea Party meeting this spring.