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Obama Calls Out Toomey for Using Him in Ad

President questions Pennsylvania Republican’s courage

Republican Sen. Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania got some flak from President Barack Obama after quoting him a new campaign ad. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Republican Sen. Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania got some flak from President Barack Obama after quoting him a new campaign ad. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Barack Obama said Republican Sen. Patrick J. Toomey hasn’t shown courage on tough issues after the Toomey campaign launched an ad that quotes Obama praising the Pennsylvania senator. 

The ad shows Obama saying, “That was not easy,” about Toomey’s work with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia in 2013 on a failed bill that would have expanded background checks on firearm purchases, The Associated Press reported. 

Obama, who has endorsed Toomey’s Democratic challenger Katie McGinty, released a statement discrediting the Republican’s bipartisan work. 

“Courage is telling Pennsylvania voters where you stand on the tough issues, not just the easy ones like background checks,” the president said. “Pat Toomey won’t tell Pennsylvania voters where he stands on Donald Trump, trying instead to have it both ways by telling different people what he thinks they want to hear. That’s not courage. Voting to shut down the government and against bills to close the terrorist gun loophole isn’t courage. And playing politics with the Supreme Court isn’t courage.”

[Michelle Obama Cuts Ads for McGinty in Pennsylvania Senate Race]

As one of Obama’s strongest critics in Congress with a strong conservative voting record, Toomey has amped up media efforts to reach moderates in the Keystone State where Democrats have a four to three registration advantage. 

“President Obama stood up publicly and praised my work of reaching across the aisle and trying to get something done on an important issue, which is background checks,” Toomey said in response to Obama’s statement. “And of course, the other side has tried to discredit and deny the work that I did. I think President Obama said it well, so we used his clip, it’s his quote, him, it’s what he said, in context.”

The ad is running in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh media markets. The race is rated a Tossup by The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call.

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