In the latest piece from James P. O’Toole of the Post-Gazette (the same one that revealed Mayor Peduto and Congressman Doyle are supporting McGinty), he wrote that “Ms. McGinty said she still hadn’t made up her mind on the Iran deal championed by the Obama administration.”
In response, the PA GOP released the following statement.
“If Ms. McGinty wants to run for U.S. Senate, she needs to let voters know where she stands on critical issues,” said PA GOP Communications Director Megan Sweeney. “Joe Sestak is 100 percent behind President Obama’s disastrous deal with Iran. Ms. McGinty says she doesn’t know where she stands. That’s not going to cut it. Is Katie McGinty for or against the Iran deal? Pennsylvanians deserve to know.”
PoliticsPA reached out to the McGinty camp for a response but have yet to hear back.
Nevertheless, this is a bit of a subtle shift from past Republican statements. When she first jumped into the race, any criticism of McGinty was used to take a larger shot at her primary opponent, Joe Sestak.
“Establishment Democrats have finally found someone who’s willing to run against Joe Sestak,” began PA Party Chairman Rob Gleason in response to McGinty’s announcement.
Similarly, last week when former Gov. Ed Rendell was chosen as her campaign chair, the GOP seemed more focused on portraying Sestak as supposedly weak than hitting McGinty.
“The Democrat Party bosses continue to line up behind their candidate, Katie McGinty,” Sweeney said. “Democrats in Washington, D.C. and Harrisburg will do anything to defeat Joe Sestak, even if it means leading the campaign of a candidate who came in dead last during her previous statewide race. Today’s announcement only serves as further proof that the establishment Democrats are ready to do whatever it takes to defeat Joe Sestak.”
The next day, though, the GOP didn’t even mention Sestak when they released a statement concerning energy policy.
“Now that Katie McGinty is officially running for office, she owes voters an answer about the President’s radical climate plan,” Sweeney stated. “Will McGinty back a double-digit rate hike on every Pennsylvania family and business? Will she stand with President Obama and turn her back on the people she wants to represent? Pennsylvanians deserve to hear from her – not down the road, but now.”
These last two missives suggest the GOP is planning to focus equal attention on McGinty and Sestak for the time being.
The shift might be an indication that the opposition is worried about McGinty’s candidacy. It also could provide some relief to Sestak, who will no longer be the Republicans’ only target.
It should be intriguing to see how this young Democratic primary continues to evolve and how the PA GOP, and Senator Pat Toomey, will respond.