WASHINGTON -- Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.), facing building pressure to offer a clear stand on Donald Trump, denounced both the GOP nominee and Democrat Hillary Clinton on Monday, but again declined to say who he will support for president.
"Sadly, last night’s debate again showed the shortcomings of both presidential candidates. I have not endorsed Donald Trump and I have repeatedly spoken out against his flawed policies, and his outrageous comments, including his indefensible and appalling comments about women," Toomey said in a news release Monday morning.
Toomey has previously said he hopes to support Trump, but needed convincing. But after the release Friday of the recording showing the GOP nominee bragging about aggressively kissing and groping women, Toomey would not say if he will support Trump, or if he is still considering doing so, despite repeated questions this weekend from the Inquirer and other news outlets.
Toomey cancelled a scheduled visit to Pottsgrove High School in Montgomery County Monday morning.
Other Republicans, meanwhile, have fled from Trump since the release of the recording Friday night, saying they will not support him, including other senators such as Arizona's John McCain and New Hampshire's Kelly Ayotte, and members of Congress, including Pennsylvania's Pat Meehan and Charlie Dent and South Jersey's Frank LoBiondo.
The release Monday was Toomey's first public comment since denouncing Trump's lewd words in a Friday night tweet calling Trump's words "outrageous and unacceptable."
Locked in one of the toughest Senate races in the country, and seemingly caught between angering Trump supporters and offending moderate voters disgusted by the GOP nominee, Toomey on Monday attacked his Democratic challenger.
"Katie McGinty has yet to say a single word against Hillary Clinton’s disastrous policies that have endangered our country, her widespread dishonesty, or the corruption of her behavior with the Clinton Foundation," Toomey's statement continued. "Pennsylvania deserves a senator who will cross party lines and provide independent leadership, not a rubber stamp for a very flawed president.”
McGinty said Toomey is "unwilling to stand up for what's right" and oppose Trump.
"Sen. Toomey is leading with calculation about his political future instead of with courage to stand up for his constituents in Pennsylvania who deserve to have a president and a presidential nominee of decent and honorable character," McGinty said in a call with reporters.
She added, "it is well past time for Pat Toomey to man up."
McGinty has endorsed Clinton. Asked last week if she found the former secretary of state trustworthy, McGinty said yes.
This post has been corrected from an earlier version. Toomey was scheduled to visit Pottsgrove High School, not Pottstown High School.