Republican U.S. Senate candidate Pat Toomey called the Tea Party a "constructive movement" in an interview Friday with WCHE-AM 1520 in Chester County, Pa.
Democrats, naturally, are focusing on the more controversial Tea Party candidates and their skepticism of the separation between church and state, the constitutionality of various government spending programs and even "birthright citizenship" in the 14th Amendment. Rep. Joe Sestak, the party's candidate for Senate, has been trying to argue that Toomey is much more conservative than he appears, but he has managed to stay mostly mum when asked about the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, or Delaware Tea Party/Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell, who has had to deny she is a witch and has expressed concern that scientists are creating super-mice with human brains.
He didn't go there on Palin or O'Donnell during this interview, but Toomey did show some love for the Tea Party, as have many other GOP leaders. Here is a podcast.
Sestak himself even had nice words for the Tea Party movement before it became one of the biggest base-rallying factors for Democrats. During an April debate with Toomey, before he won the Democratic nomination, Sestak said he respected the Tea Party and welcomed hearing its members' concerns.
The transcript of the relevant portion:
"In my experience, the Tea Party has been just an amazing
organization - not an organization, that wouldn't be their way to describe it. It's just a movement, it's a group of folks who come from all walks of life, in my experience mostly middle class people who love this country. They're concerned about its future, they're very concerned about the debt that their kids are going to have to pay back and they decided to do something about it. They're justifiably skeptical about both parties and I understand that. But I think it's a very constructive movement, because what they can do is they can force politicians to get spending under control, to remember that opportunity really comes from the private sector, that politicians work for the public, not the other way around. These folks in my experience have been a very constructive force in this cycle."