Pittsburgh column: Former Congressman, Club for Growth chief Pat Toomey likes his chances for SenateWednesday, May 27th, 2009
By switching from the Republican Party to the Democrats — after many times saying he wouldn’t — the longtime incumbent has raised the issues of credibility and trust, Mr. Toomey told the Pennsylvania Press Club today.
“He’s introduced a huge question about whether he can be trusted,” the former three-term congressman from the Lehigh Valley said. “He crisscrossed the commonwealth repeatedly insisting he was not going to leave the Republican Party, that he would stay in the party to the end.
“(He said) that it was vitally important that Republicans retain 41 votes (in the Senate) to provide a check on unlimited Democratic control. Then he took one look at a poll, saw that he probably couldn’t win (the GOP primary in 2010) and broke his word. I think that Democratic voters will ask themselves — if Republicans couldn’t trust him, why can we?”
Mr. Toomey, 47, former head of a conservative group called the Club For Growth, said he’d expected “to beat Arlen Specter soundly in the Republican primary, but I had no idea I would drive him clear out of the party.”