Toomey defends Wall Street past; Dems say he ‘just doesn’t get it’
Republican Senate candidate Pat Toomey said Wednesday that his time working on Wall Street 20 years ago had nothing to do with the financial crisis of 2008, comments that sparked a disbelieving response from Democrats.
The candidate told KDKA that when he worked in the financial industry, he wasn’t involved with a root cause of the financial crisis like home-mortgage deals. He worked with derivatives, instead, he said, which themselves have been a target of some Wall Street critics.
“I was involved in those derivatives, interest rate swaps and currency swaps, but the credit default swaps, for instance, that got a lot of understandable and very bad publicity, they were invented six years after I left the business,” Toomey told reporter Jon Delano.
In a release late Wednesday that highlighted the interview, the DNC ripped Toomey because, as its spokesman said, he “just doesn’t get it.”
“While he may try to deny that he caused the financial meltdown, the fact is that it was traders like him who cherished the reckless Wall Street culture that brought our economy to its knees in 2008,” said DNC spokesman Michael Cizn. “Pennsylvanians know that Wall Street triggered the downturn and left middle class Americans to clean up the mess.
The spokesman also hit the Republican for opposing the Democratic Party’s Wall Street reform bill, which Toomey said during the interview isn’t a good idea because the financial sector is already heavily regulated.
Toomey’s connections to Wall Street have, unsurprisingly, already emerged as the main line of criticism from Democrats in his still early race against Democratic nominee Joe Sestak. The party started the line of attack months before Toomey even emerged officially as the GOP nominee, trying to link the former Lehigh Valley congressman to the policies that helped bring about the economic crisis.