iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Larry Atkins

Larry Atkins

Posted: August 10, 2010 11:39 AM

Pat Toomey a Moderate? Yeah, Right.

Pennsylvania U.S. Senate Republican Candidate Pat Toomey has been flooding the TV airwaves this summer with commercials touting himself as a mainstream moderate and hammering Democratic Candidate Joe Sestak as being too Liberal and radical for Pennsylvania. Toomey's pulling an old trick in trying to portray himself as a moderate. Last year, he wrote an Op-Ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer stating that he would vote to confirm Sonia Sotomayor as a Supreme Court Justice. He even fooled Republican Moderate Senator Susan Collins into campaigning for him last week.

The problem with this is that Toomey's voting record is as Conservative as former Senator Rick Santorum's, if not more. Toomey was a Wall Street investment banker in the late 1980s. He was head of the Conservative anti-tax Club For Growth, a far-Right Wing organization which seeks to evict Republicans that aren't Conservative enough and which called Collins "Comrade of the Month" after she voted to support the Obama stimulus package. His website touts his Conservative voting record and boasts about his 0% rating from the pro-choice group NARAL and his 'A' rating from the National Rifle Association.

As pointed out by Harry Enten in Pollster.com in May 2010, Toomey had a much more Conservative DW-Nominate score than Rick Santorum. According to Enten's analysis, Toomey ranked more Conservative than 97.9% of all United States legislators since 1995, even more Conservative than J.D. Hayworth and Jim DeMint.

In urging Senator Santorum to endorse Toomey over Arlen Specter in the April 2004 National Review Online, Club For Growth President Stephen Moore said, "Toomey's voting record, especially on economic-growth issues, is very similar to Santorum's and is as impressive as Specter's is dreadful."

Toomey recently told Lloyd Grove of The Daily Beast that he embraced the Tea Party support that he has been receiving. "I think of it as a very loose network of unaffiliated but like-minded folks," he said. "In Pennsylvania, I think we've identified 79 Tea Party organizations. I think, generally speaking, they're wonderful people. They're ordinary Americans. They love their country. They're concerned that Washington is heading down the wrong path of way too much spending and way too much interference in the economy, way too much deficits and debt. And they have spontaneously formed, tried hard to push back. And I do have a lot of support from the Tea Party movement, and I'm delighted to have it."

Thus far, Sestak has had virtually no media presence in TV commercials, especially in the key Philadelphia area. Hopefully, he'll jump into action right after Labor Day. Over the weekend, his campaign released an online ad linking Toomey with Conservative Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin. It was a brilliant TV ad against Arlen Specter that won the primary for Sestak, and they need to do the same against Toomey. There should be plenty of past Right Wing Extremist rhetoric by Toomey that the Sestak staff can find and then juxtapose it against his current deceitful attempt to portray himself as a moderate. Toomey is nothing more than Sarah Palin with cojones, to paraphrase Palin. Come on Joe; start getting your message out on television that Toomey is loony and is no moderate.