By Alex Roarty
Club for Growth, the fiscal conservative advocacy group Pat Toomey once ran earlier this decade, is hitting the airwaves in Pennsylvania in support of its former boss with an ad that criticizes Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Joe Sestak as “very liberal.”
The 30-second spot highlights Sestak’s support of a $300 billion mortgage bailout and a so-called “cap-and-trade” bill. It also criticizes Sestak for supporting for a stimulus bill larger than the $787 billion one approved by Congress in early 2009.
“We can’t afford Joe Sestak’s liberal schemes in the Senate,” a narrator intones.
The criticism echoes the main line of attack against Sestak from the Toomey campaign, which has sought to frame the Democrat as a rubber-stamp for President Obama and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s “extreme liberal agenda.”
The group described the ad a “substantial buy on both broadcast and cable television around the state.” If so, it would be the fourth third-party organization to run ads against Sestak, joining the Chamber of Commerce, Emergency Committee for Israel, and the Karl Rove-backed group American Crossroads. Only one third-party group, J Street, not tied directly to either party has run an ad in support of Sestak, and that was in direct response to the spot from the Emergency Committee for Israel.
The DSCC began airing ads supporting Sestak last week after Toomey’s campaign had been on the air for two months.
But the Club for Growth ad does provide an opening for Sestak and Democrats to link Toomey to his Wall Street past, which has been the focus of their campaign against him so far.
“Wall Street derivatives pioneer Pat Toomey said he stopped working on Wall Street two decades ago, but that hasn’t stopped his Wall Street buddies from rushing to bailout him out today,” said DSCC National Press Secretary Deirdre Murphy, in a statement. “Already on the defense in all corners of Pennsylvania for his deep ties to Wall Street and over his history of pushing for Social Security privatization, it’s fitting that Toomey would turn to those closest to him for a bailout.”