Philadelphia (CNN) – The contrast in Pennsylvania has come down to comparisons. Republican Senate candidate Pat Toomey is accusing his Democratic opponent, Congressman Joe Sestak of being a rubber stamp for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Sestak responds that Toomey, a former Congressman himself, has also voted with Pelosi in his career. "He's such a San Francisco liberal," Sestak laughed.
Toomey has seen his sizable lead in the polls vanish in recent weeks. Now Sestak is trying a comparison of his own, tying Toomey to Republican Christine O'Donnell who's running for the Senate in neighboring Delaware. Sestak points out Toomey and O'Donnell have both spoken at Tea Party rallies.
"It's not a comparison with her as a person but on the policies, absolutely. They want to privatize social security. That's pretty extreme," Sestak said.
Toomey, who picked up the endorsement of Sarah Palin last week, points out he also has the backing of two GOP moderates.
"I'm also delighted to have the support of Rudy Giuliani and Tom Ridge," Toomey said.
Sestak is also touting his independence. When asked whether he would vote for Harry Reid to remain as Majority Leader in a Democratic-controlled Senate, Sestak said, "I'm going to look at who's going to be the nominees and pick the right one." He declined to say whether Pelosi should stay on as Speaker, saying he sacrificed his House seat to run for the Senate.
The retired Admiral turned politician conceded Democrats have come up short in fixing the economy. "You know what? The party didn't do it all right," Sestak said.
Toomey is also honest about his party's short-comings on a key issue that drives the Tea Party. He acknowledged that during his years in Congress, Republicans ran up the deficit as well.
"Republicans didn't do as good a job as they should have. But this Republican was working hard to get spending under control and that's what I'll do in the Senate," Toomey said.