Toomey taps Obama praise in new effort to appeal to middle

Written by The Associated Press | Nov 5, 2016 9:24 AM

Photo by AP Photo/Matt Rourke

(Harrisburg) -- Republican U.S. Senator Pat Toomey is turning to the target of some of his toughest criticism to help him in his life-or-death re-election bid in Democratic-leaning Pennsylvania: President Barack Obama.

A new Toomey campaign TV ad ran Friday showing Obama praising Toomey for working with Democrats on legislation to expand background checks on firearms purchases.

It shows Obama speaking outside the White House in 2013 and thanking Toomey for his courage, despite the bill's failure.

The ad is running on cable in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

It's perhaps the most eye-opening way in which Toomey is working to win over moderate voters in his neck-and-neck race against Democrat Katie McGinty.

A Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokeswoman calls the ad disingenuous and says Toomey is trying to make voters think he didn't help obstruct Obama's administration.

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