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Congressman Toomey Struggles to Counter His “Fringe Problem”

Congressman Toomey Struggles to Counter His “Fringe Problem”

Positions are Same as Extreme Tea Party Platform, But Refuses to Discuss Palin Endorsement

MEDIA, Pa. – After dodging questions about the endorsement of Sarah Palin on national television, Congressman Toomey can’t avoid the fact that he has a “fringe problem.”

“Congressman Toomey can use any optics he wants. It won’t change the fact that he would be the most far-right Senator from Pennsylvania since the Great Depression,” said Sestak spokesman Jonathon Dworkin. “Congressman Toomey’s views like shipping jobs overseas, questioning global warming, opposing laws that protect victims of hate crimes and privatizing Social Security are right in line with the candidates he cultivated, but out-of-touch with Pennsylvania. It’s no wonder his hometown newspaper says he has a ‘fringe problem.'”

Congressman Toomey’s own hometown newspaper has exposed his “fringe problem,”  saying: “As president of the Washington, D.C., free-market organization Club for Growth from 2005 to 2009, Toomey led an effort to purge the Republican Party of centrist figures in favor of those deemed more fiscally conservative … Some, including former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey, say the Tea Party movement is a manifestation of Toomey’s effort to evict moderates and seek out conservative candidates to run for public office.” [Allentown Morning Call, 10/21/10]

As the Philadelphia Daily News reported today on Toomey’s refusal to discuss Palin’s endorsement, “Toomey’s campaign yesterday touted Giuliani as a ‘major endorsement,’ heaping praise on the New Yorker. Toomey, however, didn’t seem capable of saying Palin’s name when asked about her at a debate Wednesday or on national television yesterday.” [Philadelphia Daily News, 10/22/10]

Regardless of who Congressman Toomey wants to stand with, he can’t hide from his extreme record:

Toomey Would Be The Most Conservative Pennsylvania Senator Since the New Deal.  “That Toomey is very conservative is beyond debate. If he is elected, he will arguably be the most conservative U.S senator Pennsylvania has elected since before the New Deal days. […] Toomey’s lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union is 97 percent; Santorum’s is just 88 percent. Pollster.com has ranked Toomey 98 percent more conservative during his three terms in Congress than all other members of Congress back to 1995. Santorum himself once called Toomey ‘too conservative’ for Pennsylvania.” [Scranton Times-Tribune, 9/19/2010]
Toomey Wants Zero Corporate Taxes. “Let’s not tax corporations. I think the solution is to eliminate corporate taxes altogether.” [CNBC, 7/21/07]
Toomey Stood Up for Privatization of Social Security. “When George W. Bush proposed privatizing Social Security during his presidency, one of the most vocal supporters of the plan was former Lehigh Valley Congressman Pat Toomey. Toomey, then president of the fiscally conservative Club for Growth, became a spokesman of sorts for Bush’s proposal to allow workers to invest payroll taxes in private individual accounts. He spearheaded an ad campaign in 2005 to promote the cause for reforming retirement savings this way.” [Morning Call, 8/19/2010]
Toomey Railed Against a Program to Provide Health Care to Uninsured Children. On Fox News, Congressman Toomey targeted 45 of his fellow Republicans for voting to reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which provides health care coverage to approximately 7 million low-income children every year. He later targeted members of his own party with vicious attack ads for voting for what he called a “big-government bonanza.” Congressman Toomey’s Club for Growth called SCHIP “the embodiment of bloated, big government spending,” and lobbied for its defeat. [Fox News, 9/26/07; Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, CHIP Ever Enrolled Year Graph, FY2009; ClubforGrowth.net, 5/9/08]

Toomey Opposes Legislation to Protect Victims of Hate Crimes. In September 2010, Toomey reiterated a stance he took in 2004 opposing hate crimes legislation. “I think it’s a bad idea for government to legislate on the basis of what they think people are thinking, what’s in a person’s mind or heart when they create a crime,” Toomey told KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano. “Crime should be prosecuted for what’s actually done, and it should be vigorously prosecuted.”  [KDKA, 9/9/10]

Toomey Criticizes Federal Aid to Help Students Afford College. Speaking at a press conference with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in October 2009, Toomey criticized federal aid to help students go to college, saying that the government should focus on creating jobs instead.  “The more constructive thing to do would be to create good job opportunities so that people coming out of college can find gainful employment as quickly as possible,” Toomey said, adding that “people who work hard, save and borrow some funds can find a way to get a college degree.” [Daily Pennsylvanian, 10/13/09]

Toomey: It’s Not Clear Humans Had Anything To Do With Climate Change. “My view is, I think the data is pretty clear. I think there has been an increase in the surface temperature of the planet over the course of the last hundred years or so. I think it’s clear that that has happened. The extent to which that has been caused by human activity, I think, is not as clear. I think that is still very much disputed, and it’s been debated.” [WITF, 10/4/10]

Toomey’s Club For Growth Financed Extremist 9/12 Project and FreedomWorks Events. Toomey’s Club for Growth helps fund the radical elements of the Tea Party movement. It was a bronze-level sponsor for the 9/12 March on Washington, teaming up with Glenn Beck and FreedomWorks. [9/12 March on Washington, 9/17/09; Glenn Beck, 8/31/09]

Toomey Was Endorsed By The Tea Party Express. Toomey has been endorsed by the Tea Party Express, a group that was thrown out of the National Tea Party Federation after its leader issued a letter with racist undertones in response to criticism from the NAACP. [The Hill, 4/15/2010; CNN, 7/19/2010]

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