October 20th, 2010
11:02 PM ET
12 years ago

'Extreme' debate in Pennsylvania

(CNN) - "Extreme" was the word of the night as the two Pennsylvania Senate candidates debated for the first time on Wednesday.

Democrat Rep. Joe Sestak and Republican Pat Toomey, a former Congressman, seldom agreed on the issues during the hour-long debate, but both came to the podium armed with remarkably similar messages.

Throughout the debate, both sought to paint the other as belonging to the extreme wing of their respective parties.

"It's very clear – the person who is the extreme candidate that is so far out of touch with Pennsylvania is Joe Sestak," Toomey said.

"Look at this agenda. Not only did he vote for every item on that agenda…he voted for all of the bailouts and then introduced his out bill to create a new bailout."

Sestak, meanwhile, sought to align Toomey with conservative Republican leaders such as former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin; Sestak also frequently referenced the "Bush/Toomey era," as he attempted to tie Toomey to the former President's policies.

As the candidates debated their positions on abortion, Sestak said, "Palin, Toomey, O'Donnell, they all would like to overturn Roe v. Wade."

Toomey, for his part sought to downplay his ties to Palin, who endorsed the Republican on Tuesday. When asked what role she played in the race, and whether he felt Palin was qualified to be president, Toomey avoided giving a direct answer.

"I'm very grateful for the support that I have from people from all over the political spectrum…. I welcome all allies in this effort to get a government that's our of control, under control, so we can get the prosperity we deserve," he offered.

Recent polls show Sestak rapidly closing in on Toomey, who had until recently enjoyed a comfortable lead in the race to replace Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter. Sestak defeated the party switching Senator in the Democratic primary earlier this year.

Filed under: 2010 • Joe Sestak • Pat Toomey • Pennsylvania
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. stufthis

    Was he properly vetted by Palin, or is this another case of the process she used to pick Miller, Angle, O'Donnell, Rubio, and Buck. Do Pennsylvanians really want Palin endorsed Wall Street corruption running their state?

    October 21, 2010 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  2. Stiles

    Why can't these jerks just talk about what they can do to fix the mess instead of tearing each other down?
    It's like they are trying to get us to vote for the lesser of two evils. Which is usually true but this has to change.
    I didn't learn anything about what they want to do to correct our situation only what they already did wrong. Who do you trust? NO ONE!! They are both liars and I would feel better voting for Mickey Mouse. C'mon gentlemen start acting like adults and run your campaigns with dignity and respect. I doubt this will happen cause they are all greedy lying jerks.

    October 21, 2010 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  3. Shucks

    Toomey is just another Rick Santorum folks. He is very smart to not play up his extreme right wing religious idealogy. We all see where that got Santorum. Toomey is no different only he is more subversive and even darker by not acknowleding the extreme right wing conservative stance he has taken on every issue. These types of republicans are very dangerous as their true intent on destruction of Social Security, Medicare, VA health system, and limiting the rights of other Americans on religious ideals is not being addressed, or brought to light. We can only hope that here in Pennsylvania we now know a wolf in sheeps clothing when we see it.

    October 21, 2010 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  4. Kind Person

    I see Toomey and Santorum two idiots. Sestak is retired military a true patriot who wants to do good by his country. My vote Joe Sestak a good leader and a real gentleman. Go Joe!!!

    October 21, 2010 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Toomey, don't run from your Silly Sarah endorsement now. Getting endorsed by her is the kiss of death. I'll vote for the guy that actually served this country in uniform before I will ever vote for the guy that served Wall St.

    October 21, 2010 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  6. T'SAH from Virginia

    The RepubliCAN'Ts had the entire summer to SPREAD their ENTHUSIAM and they thought they were WINNING!!! Now it's our turn to SET the RECORD straight!!!

    I told you DEMORATS rally at the last minute. We got CORNERED and now it's time to fight our way out!!!! When you're RIGHT on the issues you FIGHT for the issues. I just feel sorry for the DEMOCRATS who choose to DISTANCE themselves away from the BASE and the CAUSE!!! Let them go right ahead and see if the ‘far-right’ will embrace them!!! You know the ‘far-right’ is what’s running the GOP now – starring SARAH the PA’IN and they DO NOT have any room for the DEMO-TRAITORS!!!

    DEMOCRATS continue to get FIRED UP – STATE the CASE – UNITE the BASE – WIN the RACE – KEEP the PACE – DON’T be FAKE – FOR GOODNESS SAKE – DON’T be LATE – VOTE like it’s 2008 –I’M ABOUT TO COUGH – ‘CAUSE I’M LMAO!!!!!

    This is T'SAH from Virginia and I approve this message!!

    October 21, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  7. marty

    Joe Sestak's background and mind set has been of service to our country and ALL our citizens.
    Pat Toomey's background has been a service limited to the wealthy, by the wealthy and for the wealthy.
    The argument that ...businesses provide jobs creating a trickle down effect benefiting the middle class.....simply doesn't hold water as evidenced by a horrible eight years of Republican leadership. For anyone who wishes to go back, regress, to a proven falied government is either mind boggling or representative of a dumming down of intelligence in America

    October 21, 2010 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  8. FedUpRepublican

    As a Republican and a Pennsylvanian, Sestak will be getting my vote. Sestak may be a Democrat, but I believe he’s a fair and honorable man that will work for ALL Pennsylvanians. Toomey’s doesn’t come close to representing lower and middle income Pennsylvanians and only seems interested in serving the needs of Wall Street, corporate America and extremist social conservatives.

    October 21, 2010 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
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