Monday, May 17, 2010
Pennsylvania's Democratic Senate contenders, incumbent Arlen Specter and challenger Joe Sestak, appeared on CNN's State of the Union this weekend ... making a last-ditch effort to reach out to the kind of voter who doesn't watch Fox.
Among the highlights, both candidates were asked what they'd do if they lose tomorrow -- support the nominee against Republican Pat Toomey or not?
The exchange with Sestak [transcript courtesy CNN]:
Sestak: ... I'm going to win and I'm looking forward to Senator Specter's support after the eighteenth of May.
CNN Host Candy Crow: And if you look forward to his support, can he look forward to yours?Sestak: Never deal with something that's not going to happen.
How did Specter respond?
Specter: I am going to support anybody against Pat Toomey.It is not going to happen, but I will answer your question, Candy ... [Sestak]wouldn't answer your questions all over the lot, ducks and bobs and weaves.
Translation: That weaselly little question-dodging fucker Joe Sestak? Of course I'd support him in November!
But that answer was good enough for the state Democratic Party apparatus, apparently. Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairman T.J. Rooney issued a statement calling it "appalling" that a candidate "who claims to be running as the 'true Democrat' in this race would ... waffle about endorsing the winner of the Democratic primary. If he can't be trusted to endorse the Democratic nominee ... against an ultra-conservative Tea Party favorite like Pat Toomey, then how can he be trusted to represent the interests of Pennsylvanians in the Senate? ... [T]he real Democrat in this race has already promised to endorse the winner."
Well played. Although really, considering that Rooney has already warned that a Sestak win would be "cataclysmic," you gotta wonder how strongly HE would support Sestak in the November election.
There were some other moments of interest as well. Here's how you can expect to see Sestak address the lingering questions over his service record:
Crowley: I don't want to do a go-around with you about what ... happened when you left the military and what the circumstances were, and yet this has been an issue in your campaign. And I've watched politics enough to understand that if you've got a problem, the thing to do is get things out there.
Sestak's initial response was to say "A 30-year incumbent Republican senator who's left his troops on the field[cand] came to the other side to keep his job -- as a 30-year veteran, I don't owe Arlen Specter anything."
But Crowley pressed the point: Even if he didn't owe Specter any answers, what about the voters?
Crowley: John Kerry did put out his records -- just to sort of, you know, again, put that out there. And is it about Arlen Specter or the people of Pennsylvania?
Sestak: John Kerry did, but I stood up and -- the people who are standing around me today care about one thing, Candy, which Arlen Specter has never spoken about, even when he switched parties and said it was to keep his job.
And he went on like that. When Specter accused his rival of dodging questions, this is what he meant.
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