A Teleconference With Pat Toomey

Pat Toomey is an outstanding conservative candidate and his numbers in Pennsylvania look good right now. He has an excellent chance to knock off the winner of the Arlen Specter/Joe Sestak primary battle and add a seat in the Senate for the GOP. What follows are my notes, not quotes, from a NRSC teleconference call with Pat Toomey.

Opening Statement From Pat Toomey

I am excited about how things are coming together. The environment has improved a lot for Republicans and my campaign in particular. We raised $1.6 million in 11 weeks. We’ve gotten great support across Pennsylvania. We see a lot of grassroots energy. We are working on an internet-based platform for the campaign.

Arlen Specter gives us a lot of ammo. He tries to be on both sides of every issue. He’ll take one position and change sides a few weeks later. I think the bloggers and the online community in general are so important to us. The MSM is not on our side, but the Rightroots allow us to get out our message.

Question from me: If you were talking to a Pennsylvania voter, why would you tell him that he should select you over Joe Sestak?

Having one party control in DC is bad news. A little balance in Washington would help a lot.

My background in Congress and in the private sector has focused on economic growth. I understand how to create jobs and I don’t think Sestak does. He’s in lockstep with the far Left.

Who would be a tougher opponent: Arlen Specter or Joe Sestak?

It’s hard to say. Arlen Specter flip flops constantly. You never know where he stands. Joe Sestak is a far left-winger from the Nancy Pelosi wing of the party.

I don’t get to pick my opponent, but I think I will be strong against either of them.

What are Specter’s strengths?

He can raise money, has high name ID, and has been elected statewide many times.

What do you think of Cap and Trade?

It’s a huge burden for industrial states. It’s bad for the country in general, but it would be particularly disastrous for Pennsylvania. I am surprised Specter and Sestak are supporting this legislation.

Would you be able to hold the line on fiscal responsibility if you’re elected?

Look at my record and my role with the Club for Growth. I am committed to free enterprise and fiscal discipline. I was against TARP, all the bailouts, and nationalizing the car companies. I was strongly opposed to the stimulus bill. Sestak and Specter supported all of these things. I think we need to restore some fiscal responsibility in Washington.

But, will being fiscally responsible get you elected?

I think so. These bills are unpopular and unfair. Why are taxpayers being forced to be involuntary investors in failing businesses? I think fiscal conservatism will appeal to Republicans, Independents, and even some Democrats.

Pat, do you think you are the front runner?

I’m up against an incumbent, so I am going to act as if I am an underdog all the way through election day.

If you had to pick some other core issues you feel strongly about outside of the economic issues, what would they be?

I am very concerned about defense issues. I am worried about cutting back on missile defense when the North Koreans are hellbent on developing missiles that can hit us.

I also feel strongly about the need to reform health care. I think we need to get the cost under control. I think tort reform and allowing people to buy insurance across state lines would help a lot.

If you had to pick one historical figure that you idolize, who would that be?

There are lots. My 20th century hero is Reagan. Churchill would be on a short list, high up there. I think Lincoln was an indispensable American.

Summary: All in all, it was a good performance for Toomey who has to be very pleased with how things are going for him. The NRSC endorsement means he won’t have a primary opponent while Specter and Sestak will have to battle it out. Fundraising is off to a good start for Toomey. His poll numbers are also very good for this point in the campaign. The political environment is shaping up nicely — if you’re Pat Toomey, this is where you want to be at this point in the campaign. That’s not a guarantee of victory, but Toomey is in position to be in position when election time rolls around next year.

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