Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Toomey feeling Trumped

Pat Toomey has a new opponent.

No, Katie McGinty has not withdrawn from the race.

Hardly.

But the incumbent Republican Toomey now has another figure shrouding his campaign, one of the most hotly contested - and expensive - races in the country against the Democrat McGinty.

The shadow that has fallen across Toomey comes from his own party, specifically the top of the ticket.

For weeks now Toomey has been hounded by McGinty and others to lay his cards on the table concerning the man at the top of the GOP ticket. That would be presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

The calls only got more intense after Trump's vulgar comments concerning women blew up Friday night.

It now shadows Toomey everywhere he goes.

Yesterday, he was working the Main Line, with an appearance with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who was here to praise Toomey as a candidate unafraid to stand up to some in his own party. Collins hailed Toomey's efforts on gun control as a prime example.

That's not what most people wanted to know.

They wanted to know if Toomey was unafraid of standing up to Trump.

McGinty, who has been hammering Toomey on this issue for weeks, had a field day, suggesting it was time for Toomey to "man up" and divorce himself from the real estate mogul and reality TV host.

Toomey, who condemned Trump's latest remarks, took issue with Trump again yesterday, saying he has yet to be persuaded to be a Trump supporter. But he would not offer a comment on whether he would endorse or unendorse Trump, of even if he would vote for the Republican presidential nominee.

If it makes him feel any better, Toomey has lots of company in his own party.

Trump yesterday fired back at House Speaker Paul Ryan, after the Wisconsin Republican announced he would no longer defend Trump or bother to campaign for him. Most experts viewed Ryan's comments as raising the white flag in the presidential race, with Ryan now determined to save the GOP majorities in both the House and Senate.

For his part, Trump yesterday didn't give an inch, in effect going to war with Ryan and his own party, blasting the Speaker for ineffective leadership, and suggesting he was happy that "the shackles are off" and he can now campaign as he sees fit.

Which left Democrat Hillary Clinton to offer this position to voters.

"I'm the only thing standing between you and the apocalypse."

I think Pat Toomey knows how she feels.

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