Locked in a close race for the seat representing Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate, Republican Pat Toomey on Sunday insisted that he is no Christine O’Donnell.
O’Donnell, the GOP senatorial candidate in neighboring Delaware, is a “tea party” movement favorite, whose conservative positions allowed her to defeat an establishment Republican for the senatorial nomination. Her campaign in the general election has been become bogged down in a variety of issues, including her campaign ad explaining that she is not really a witch.
Delaware and parts of Pennsylvania share a common media market, so O’Donnell’s faux pas have seeped across the border. Even more so, Democrat candidate Joe Sestak has tried to paint Toomey as similar to O’Donnell --- far too conservative for the state.
Speaking on Fox News Sunday, Toomey rejected attempts to link his political positions to O’Donnell’s.
“This is pretty silly.” Toomey said. “Joe Sestak is so worried about his own record, he's trying to -- trying to run against somebody that I've never met, that I don't agree with.” Then Toomey jumped in with his own attempt at linkage.
“You know who's really extreme here? The fact is Joe Sestak is to left of Nancy Pelosi. That's no exaggeration. He's voted for every single item on this big government agenda that we've been living through for these last two years and his only criticism has been that it doesn't go far enough. Joe Sestak's a guy who's outside of the mainstream of Pennsylvania.”
Polls show Toomey and Sestak are running neck-and-neck, a big step forward for Sestak who was trailing in the race to fill the seat now held by Democrat Arlen Specter. Sestak defeated Specter in the May primary.