Pat Toomey gets more national publicity today for his seat on the 12-member debt supercommittee, this time from Politico, which runs a story saying he could be a dealmaker with Democrats. (Maybe. But consider that he's also supposed to be one of the members most receptive to the ultra-conservative Republican Study Commission.)
Who you gonna call when you need a go-to Democratic quote? Why Ed Rendell of course:
Toomey, however, is careful not to go out too far on a limb. In an interview after his town-hall meeting Thursday, Toomey wouldn’t answer directly if he’d be open to backing a tax reform package that lowered corporate and individual rates but led to a net increase in revenue by eliminating certain tax deductions.
Toomey’s toned down rhetoric on the road in Pennsylvania has some Democrats hoping he’ll be a serious negotiator on the supercommittee rather than just a “no” vote.
“I do believe under the right circumstances, Pat may be amenable” to a tax reform package with higher revenue, former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell told POLITICO. “Pat Toomey is not a guy who is going to change his views for political survival, but he is a reasonable guy.
“Although he has firm ideology, he’s not a slave to the ideology.”
"Toned down" may be a bit too strong. Toomey has cited his bipartisan record on tax subsidies since the very first day he was appointed to the commission -- specifically on legislation repealing ethanol subsidies.
Here's a nice quote Colby Itkowitz of the Morning Call snagged at the same town hall:
"Look, I don't blame you one bit for being skeptical about this. I have my concerns about whether we can get this done, and it's not like we don't have enough committees down there," Toomey said, referring to Capitol Hill, far from Carbon County. "I don't know whether it's going to work, but I'm going to give it my best shot."