Skip to comments.Specter aide: Toomey’s campaign may hurt Bush
Posted on 10/08/2003 11:20:05 AM PDT by GeneralHavoc
Specter aide: Toomeys campaign may hurt Bush
Conservative calls the assertion an act of desperation
Conservative Rep. Pat Toomeys (R-Pa.) aggressive challenge of incumbent centrist Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) in what some call the countrys toughest Senate primary could have a negative effect on President Bushs chances to carry Pennsylvania, a Specter aide said.
Incumbent and challenger are engaged in a hard-fought battle for Specters Senate seat, and both accuse each other of playing dirty.
The dirtier Toomey gets the greater a chance Democrats have in Pennsylvania, Specter spokesman Bill Reynolds said. He added that the primary could hurt Republicans in this years local elections, give a Democrat a better chance to win the Senate seat next year, and also have negative results in the 2004 presidential election.
Thomas Butler Whoever wins the 2004 Republican Senate nomination in Pennsylvania will help Bush carry the state, Rep. Pat Toomey insists.
Mark Dion, a spokesman for the Toomey campaign, dismissed the assertion as a desperate attempt by Senator Specter to hide his liberal record. Dion added that the race would be decided on the issues, by the people of Pennsylvania and that the winner of the primary would go on to take the Senate seat and help Bush carry the state.
In addition, a Toomey campaign source said that while Specter is dancing to his own tune, the challenger is in line with Bush on issues such as tax cuts, the sanctity of life and reining in spending.
Fearing a negative backlash from the primary battle in this years state elections, Alan Novak, chairman of the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania, asked both candidates to cease television and radio campaign ads.
Both agreed initially, but Specters campaign is running ads again, saying a group connected to Toomey continued running ads. Toomeys camp disputed that the lawmaker was involved in the ads, stating that there was little he could do to stop them.
The Toomey campaign source said the same ads ran in eight other states and were timed to coincide with a vote on school vouchers. Although the ads now have stopped and Toomey still is not running ads, the source said Specter used the third-party ads to get back on the air.
Both sides accuse each other of name-calling and of running attack ads. In a statement last month, Toomey contends that Specters recent ads, which attack the challenger, show that the incumbent is desperate to change the subject away from his own voting record, which he knows is way out of step with Pennsylvania Republicans.
Toomey added that it is a sad day when a four-term incumbent cannot run on his own record but instead opts for negative personal attacks.
Reynolds countered that any reasonable individual would say that is not the quite the case and that is being generous, arguing that it is Toomeys campaign that is on the ropes.
The Specter spokesman said it is the challenger who is trying to defame the senator instead of talking about the issues.
Toomey frequently calls Specter liberal and points to his own conservative record. However, Specter, who has crossed party lines especially with regard to pro-union votes, can point to endorsements from conservative and powerful Republicans.
The White House and Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) have endorsed Specter. In addition, the four GOP Senate leaders under whom Specter has served, including Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (Tenn.), said in a letter this summer that he is a team player and one of the best senators in promoting Republican values and policies. Reynolds said, These endorsements speak loudly.
However, the source in Toomeys campaign said the letter was only written after the magazine National Review called Specter the worst Republican senator. The source added that the party establishment has a history of backing their own. Toomey has garnered support from several state Republicans. However, his push to win support among state lawmakers resulted in controversy when several Pennsylvania Republicans asked Toomey to remove their names from a list of GOP legislators supporting the challenger.
In response, the Toomey campaign sent a letter to state lawmakers, apologizing to the GOP delegation and state Rep. Thomas Killion (R) for mistakenly adding him to the list of the challengers supporters. The campaign source said that despite the mix-up Toomey is not losing steam and keeps picking up the endorsements of like-minded Republicans.
The Toomey campaign source said that including Killion was a mix-up on the part of a staffer and an honest mistake. In addition, the source said that three state lawmakers who asked to be removed from the list of Toomey endorsers had signed a document that explicitly said that their names could be used by the campaign.
Specters campaign manager, Christopher Nicholas, said in a statement that claiming endorsements from lawmakers who had not yet made a decision on whom to support is a serious breach of personal and professional ethics.
Specter has a significant edge in fundraising. He had $8.6 million cash on hand by the end of the second quarter, but Reynolds said it is now well in excess of $9 million. Toomey had $1.5 million by June 30, but the source with his campaign said the third quarter, which ended in September, was the best quarter yet.
Earlier this year, Specter supporter Rep. Phil English (R-Pa.) asked Toomey to return money to Republican colleagues who had contributed to his 2002 House race.
English said one-third of the money Toomey has raised was left over from the previous election, adding that many Republicans do not think it is fair or reasonable to spend money intended for a House race against a Democrat on a campaign to unseat an incumbent.
A spokesperson for English said the lawmaker, who likes Toomey, had not received a formal response and has not changed his view on the issue of returning the funds. Toomeys campaign said it is odd that nobody talks about the $2.6 million Specter had left over from defeating a Democratic challenger in 1998.
Nope .. I like Bush .. and I can't stand Arlen Spector
See .. we conservatives are smart enough to seperate the two
I guess I missed the part where GWB has "reigned in" spending
Like Specter being our senator helped Bush in 2000? PA went to Gore...
That argument makes no sense at all. In 2000, Bush lost PA to Gore by a few percent while Rick Santorum, who is more conservative than Pat Toomey, beat the living snot out of the Liberal Dem challenger. People in PA did not connect with Bush in 2000. They will in 2004.
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