The two men vying to replace Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) squared off in a televised debate tonight that centered around which of them was the more extreme. Pat Toomey, the Republican nominee, tried to paint Democrat Joe Sestak as representing the extreme liberal edge of the Democratic Party, negatively associating him with teachers unions and what he called Democrats who are "not friends" of Israel.
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Sestak, a retired admiral and current member of Congress, fought back by positioning Toomey with personalities like Sarah Palin and Delaware Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell. He also took every possible opportunity, it seemed, to place President Bush's name as close to Toomey's as possible.
Toomey is the former president of the ultra-conservative Club For Growth and a former Republican member of Congress. He held firm on his belief in school vouchers, decreased regulation and at least the partial privatization of Social Security.
Toomey also got Palin's endorsement today, perhaps reaffirmig his conservative bona fides with his base, but also leaving him open to Sestak's attacks that he's too far to the right for Pennsylvania's swinging electorate. (Toomey declined to say whether he thinks Palin is qualified to be president.)