October 22nd, 2010
09:27 PM ET
11 years ago

Pennsylvania candidates spar in Senate debate

(CNN) - If "extreme" was the buzzword in the first Pennsylvania Senate debate, "economy" was the hot topic in the second debate between Republican candidate Pat Toomey and Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak on Friday.

Both candidates continued themes they have used throughout their campaigns - painting each other as "extreme" while attempting to showcase themselves as moderates.

Sestak, a former U.S. Navy admiral and two-term congressman, touted his military record and focused on attacking Toomey as someone who would cater to Wall Street.

"He supports any program that helps corporations, that help Wall Street," Sestak said.

Toomey, a former congressman, pushed his record as a business owner and job creator, and criticized Sestak for being an "extreme" liberal who voted for the bailout of Wall Street banks.

"We badly need people in Washington who have business experience," Toomey said. "Joe has no experience in business and does not understand the consequences of the really bad policies he's been proposing."

Toomey went on to advocate for lower tax rates and emphasized the need to lower capital gains taxes "across the board."

Sestak defended his position on middle-class tax cuts and said he was for a "zero capital gains tax" for investors in small businesses.

During the energetic hour-long debate in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the candidates dug in on tax policies, job creation and spending, sniped over inconsistencies in each other's voting records, and often ignored the moderator's time-keeping requests.

Recent polls show the race to claim Sen. Arlen Specter's open seat is deadlocked among likely Pennsylvania voters. The party-switching senator was defeated in the Democratic primary by Sestak.

Filed under: 2010 • Joe Sestak • Pat Toomey • Pennsylvania
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. CNN watcher

    Sestak is almost tied in the polls now. A big comeback. If I was Toomey, I'd be worried.

    October 22, 2010 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  2. George of the jungle

    way to go Joe vote the repos out in November or we will go back not forward.

    October 22, 2010 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  3. ricosu

    Isn't it interesting how many of the lapel pin patriots never served their country like their "extreme" liberal adversaries? They worked for their deferrments like Cheney. Takes a lot of effort too I guess. Oh! The courageous men like Hannity, Beck, Limbaugh and Rove that don't know what it is to wear the uniform much less serve their country this way. Truth is I wouldn't have wanted any of these grossly overweight windbags serving next to me for fear of the risk it would have put me in having to carry them.

    October 22, 2010 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  4. rdepontb


    You should be honored to have Joe Sestak run as Senator from your great state. A life of service, intelligent, probing, good-hearted, an incredibly hard worker-things he has always been and will continue to be. You need this sort of representation, we all do. Go for it!

    October 22, 2010 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  5. bobmr

    go Joe Systek the next senator for PA

    October 22, 2010 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  6. walleye46

    ONLY A MORON WOULD VOTE FOR ANY REPUBLICAN. Since the last 8 years under Bush I have repeatedly said if Donald Duck was running against a Republican, the Duck would get my vote every time.

    October 22, 2010 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  7. hsr0601

    1.      Inaction cost in relation to health care reform totals $9trillion over the next decade.

    2.      Over the next 10 years, total Bush tax cut costs will equal $3.9 trillion, .... the tax cuts would increase deficits by nearly $4 trillion between 2005 and 2014.

    October 23, 2010 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  8. barry

    Sestak what a joke. It's going to be nice to have that whole crooked mess investigated when the Republicans take the House here in a few days. It's coming here in a few days Dem's.

    October 23, 2010 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  9. Switters

    Sarah Palin's endorsement of Pat Toomey will prove to be "the kiss of death" – people in Pennsylvania really do not like Palin.

    October 23, 2010 06:58 am at 6:58 am |