Friday, September 4, 2015

Sock it, Toomey!

Sen. Pat Toomey has been hitting Obama hard lately. Could this be practice sparring for a spot on the national GOP ticket?

Sock it, Toomey!


(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: Yo, boss, ya know who's been socking Obama pretty hard these days?

BE: Uh, everybody who's running against him and every Republican in Congress and out?

JB: Well, yeah, but one voice seems especially targeted of late: Pat Toomey's.

BE: Hey, wasn't he mentioned as a possible VP candidate?

JB: Back in November. Here's one of many stories at the time.

BE: So what's he up to lately?

JB: On the two most recent national flaps, he's there with a one-two punch. First, he went after Obama's compromise on birth control in which the president said insurance companies, not religious employers, would pay for contraceptives. Here's what Toomey said:

“This is absurd. Businesses do not provide services for free, no matter what fiats the government may issue. Clearly, the costs of these controversial services will simply be built into the price paid for the other services. In the end, all employers will still be required to pay for all mandated services, including those services that are deeply objectionable to certain employers.

“As we have seen with the implementation of the president’s flawed health-care law, a loss of personal freedoms – even religious freedom in this case – is the price we pay when we allow the government to dictate the terms of what should be private arrangements.”

BE: Kapow! Plays right into the GOP's we-hate-Obamacare mantra.

JB: Right. And when the prez unleashed his budget this week, Toomey was there:

"The president fails to make the necessary reforms to truly fix our entitlement programs, which are, by his own admission, the main drivers of our deteriorating fiscal outlook. Medicare and Medicaid are both growing at unsustainable rates – much faster than our economy. The president knows it, and yet, he refuses to support the structural reforms to put these programs on a sustainable path. This is a tragic abdication of presidential responsibility.”

BE: You don't think he's practicing for a Veep spot, do you?

JB: Could be. He accorded himself pretty well on the "supercommittee." He's a fiscally conservative Catholic from a big state who honored his own pledge to term-limit after serving six years in the U.S. House. He's smart, a Harvard grad, and doesn't come across as scary right-wing like a former PA senator on the national scene does.

BE: Hey, but Toomey's got that Wall Street background, too, linking him to the 1 percent.

JB: Big deal. There aren't many 99 percent GOP candidates.

BE: So, IF he's interested in a ticket slot?

JB: I'd tell him to use the president like a pinata and, you know, sock it, Toomey! Grrr.

Daily News Political Columnist
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About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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