State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

McGinty bashes Toomey on failure to endorse a presidential candidate

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Aug 22, 2016 7:08 PM

Katie McGinty is currently leading Pat Toomey by a slim margin in state polls. (Photo by AP)

(Harrisburg) -- US Democratic Senate contender Katie McGinty went on the offense Monday, seeking to paint her opponent, incumbent Republican Pat Toomey, as an insincere flip-flopper.

Throughout her campaign, McGinty has played up her own blue-collar angle, presenting herself as a first-generation college grad--a claim she recently edited into a first generation four-year college grad--and a champion of the working class.

Toomey, she said, is the opposite.

"Pat Toomey is a perfect example of what is wrong--tilting the system to benefit the few at the expense of middle-class families," she said. "You know, he has run a false and ideological campaign."

McGinty also came down hard on Toomey for failing to back a presidential candidate.

So far, Toomey has spent this election carefully avoiding an endorsement, or condemnation, of Donald Trump. Trump is currently polling badly in Pennsylvania, and could be losing Toomey votes.

McGinty said no endorsement is actually worse than Toomey being pro-Trump.

"If he thinks a racist bigot who scams people out of their money, and bullies people who get his way, a guy the experts believe is a risk to the security of this country, should be president of the United States, then fine," she said. "But voters deserve to know."

Other topics on McGinty's radar included gun control.

Toomey has won props from gun control advocates for his work on a bipartisan gun control bill in 2012, most recently snagging an endorsement from former US Rep. Gabby Giffords' gun safety PAC.

But McGinty said Toomey failed to follow up on the gun control measure after it didn't pass by a narrow margin.

McGinty added she supports recreational gun ownership, but that common-sense gun restrictions are necessary.

The Toomey camp swung back at McGinty in an official response, saying McGinty would be "nothing more than a rubber stamp for her party's leadership in Washington."

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