From Jim O'Toole
Renewing their running debate on the federal budget, Republican Pat Toomey assailed his Senate opponent, Rep. Joe Sestak, for his support of measures that have contributed to the nation's rising deficits.
His Green Tree press conference came on the eve President Bill Clinton' scheduled appearance appearance with Mr. Sestak at a rally in Scranton on Tuesday. As they argued at a distance over fiscal policy, both sides made selective use of votes statistics and administration records.
At a Republican headquarters in Green Tree, Mr. Toomey criticized a series of Sestak votes for bailout or recovery measures during the Obama administration that Mr. Toomey said had failed to right the economy. "Frankly, I think we're still in the recession," he said.
And he warned that the deficits spawned by thise policies threatened to stifle future growth through high interest rates, high inflation or both.
The Sestak campaign contended that Mr Toomey's critique was hypocritical in that, during his three terms in Congress, he had voted for successive budgets that eradicated the surpluses of the Clinton years.
That broad charge was echoed outside the Toomey press conference as a handful of Democratic partisans demonstrated. Among their hand-lettered signs was one stating, "Thanks for the record deficit."