GrassrootsPA is reporting that former Congressman Pat Toomey, the current Club for Growth President, has announced that he may just run against Senator Arlen Specter in the primary. That is big news for people who care about the issue of life and conservatism.
Toomey, who narrowly lost a primary battle against Specter five years ago said on a morning show that a Primary challenge to Senator Arlen Specter is ‘now back on the table.
Toomey has been considering a gubernatorial run.
Here’s why I think it’s a good idea for Toomey to run. Think back. When Toomey lost to Specter the first time the GOP was barely holding onto the minority and was frightened to death over losing it for fear that the Democrats would vote to end the War in Iraq.
Everyone knew that Specter would trounce Democrat Congressman Joe Hoeffel in a head to head but people wondered if Toomey could beat Hoeffel, who was polished at playing the “moderate” Democrat bait and switch every election.
And one other wild card was that pro-life Senator Rick Santorum endorsed Specter. That endorsement while outraging many and was a big part of the defection of pro-lifers from Santorum’s campaign in 2006, played a very important role in Specter’s primary victory.
But at this point, Santorum is out. The GOP has suffered so many losses that they’re finally interested in some level of ideological cohesion on issues rather than just holding onto power. Conservatives are riled up.
The talk in the last primary was that while we couldn’t trust Arlen on social issues he was at least a fiscal conservative. But his recent vote for the stimulus was devestating. Arlen Specter, I believe, felt safe to make that vote precisely because Toomey was talking about a gubernatorial run.
But Toomey’s announcement changes everything. Pro-lifers will come out in droves to support Toomey. And even fiscal conservatives are now frustrated with Specter. Now mind you, Specter has a war chest and you can bet that he will employ a scorched earth campaign against Toomey but I believe Toomey can win this. And that would be a major sign that pro-life conservatives are taking back the party.