Pat Toomey critical of Donald Trump but doesn't rule out a vote

Laura Olson
Contact ReporterCall Washington Bureau

Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey weighed in on his party's controversial nominee following a contentious debate Sunday evening, but Toomey's comments did little to clarify his position on Donald Trump.

Toomey has neither endorsed Trump nor ruled out voting for the GOP nominee, and after Friday's release of a video in which Trump bragged about kissing and groping women, Toomey once again was critical of the nominee's remarks

But did the new revelations - which appeared to be a final straw for some Republican officials - change Toomey's view that he hopes that Trump can earn his support? He didn't say.

"Sadly, last night’s debate again showed the shortcomings of both presidential candidates," Toomey said in a statement released by his campaign. "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.

He continued, echoing an argument that he's made before portraying his lack of endorsement as a strength: "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. Pennsylvania deserves a senator who will cross party lines and provide independent leadership, not a rubber stamp for a very flawed president."

He was scheduled to appear at a Montgomery County high school today, but a local newspaper reports that Toomey canceled the appearance.

Toomey's Democratic challenger, Katie McGinty, blasted Toomey throughout the weekend for not joining those who called on Trump to withdraw from the race. Her campaign dubbed him "Fraidy-Pat," and McGinty decried his statement about Trump's lewd comments as "not good enough."

She continued that critique on Monday morning in a call with reporters, describing him as more worried about his "political future" than about doing what is right in taking a stand against Trump.

The two Senate candidate remain in a close race, with an NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll released Sunday giving McGinty a 4-point advantage and one from CBS News/YouGov that showed them tied. 

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