Toomey embraces Kaine but attacks Clinton

HARRISBURG (AP) — Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, in a campaign pitch to moderate voters, has launched a TV ad that recounts praise from Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, but he also is on TV attacking Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in other parts of the state.

The first-term Toomey is pursuing the split-state strategy as he tries to ward off a strong challenge by Democrat Katie McGinty, who served as a top environmental policy adviser to Bill Clinton’s White House and as Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s chief of staff.

Toomey is among the Senate’s most endangered Republicans, running for re-election in Democratic-leaning Pennsylvania after compiling one of the most conservative voting records in Congress. The GOP is struggling to keep its 54-46 Senate majority, and the neck-and-neck race could tip control to Democrats.

A key part of Toomey’s campaign strategy is to show his independence from his party, like his refusal to endorse Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

In a campaign visit Wednesday in Philadelphia’s suburbs, Kaine mentioned the Toomey ad, noting he’d once complimented Toomey as “a decent person, a civil person.” But he criticized Toomey for “neither condemning nor embracing” Trump.

“It’s whether somebody stands up for your values,” Kaine, a U.S. senator from Virginia, told the crowd at Bucks County Community College in Newtown.