On Oct. 12, U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) was repeatedly asked by reporters at a campaign press conference about whether he will denounce Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for Trump's recorded comments about women as heard on the 2005 Access Hollywood videotape released last Friday. On the tape, Trump brags about touching women without their consent.
Toomey has condemned the comments, but has not definitively stated if he supports or denounces Trump, a position he has held since Trump secured the Republican nomination. (Toomey supported Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in the primaries.)
"I don't know, but I am not defending Donald Trump," said Toomey at the press conference. "I have said, I find his candidacy very problematic. I had hoped by now I would have been convinced to been an enthusiastic supporter, but I remain unpersuaded."
Toomey is the only U.S. senator running for re-election who has not decided whether or not he supports Trump. This months-long waffling has even caught the attention of late-night comedians, including Jimmy Kimmel who satirized it on Oct. 13 (see above).
A narrator in the video, pretending to be Toomey, even gets in an argument with himself. "I am proud to support him for office. No, I'm not. Yes, I am. Am not. Am so!"
Democrat Katie McGinty, who is running against Toomey, has consistently called for Toomey to take a position on Trump. She told City Paper on Oct. 13 that Toomey needs to denounce Trump soon, because the issue is important to Pennsylvania voters, and dodging the Trump issue is a political move.
"It seems to me that Sen. Toomey is putting his political interest ahead of his constituents," said McGinty.
The first debate between the senate candidates takes place on Oct. 17, in Pittsburgh, on KDKA at 7 p.m.