The Blog

Toomey and Sestak Spar over Terrorist Trials, Foreign Policy

Will the real extremist please stand up?

12:15 AM, Oct 21, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Toomey said the trials would be a “security risk” and a “circus.” But worse than that, he continued, “in a civilian trial the prosecution is required to disclose to the defense its methods, its information, where it got it, and what it knows. I don’t think we’re under any obligation to help our enemies kill Americans.”

“That’s not true,” Sestak shot back, accusing Toomey of cynically trumping up the issue. “Courts do not have to reveal that. In fact George Bush tried 200 terrorists here. 200 of them! And he never spoke up.” As former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy has pointed out, that figure for foreign terrorists tried in the U.S. is nowhere near correct

When the candidates discussed abortion, Toomey said that, like Pennsylvania Democratic senator Bob Casey and a majority of the state's congressional delegation, he is pro-life and thinks Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. “Joe Sestak’s the one who’s extreme on this issue," Toomey said. "He’s in the fringe of members—very liberal—who believe in taxpayer funded abortion on demand, and no restrictions at all.”

Though he voted for the abortion-funding health care bill, Sestak disputed Toomey's characterization of his position on federal funding of abortion, and used the topic as an opening to link Toomey to Sarah Palin and Christine O'Donnell. “Palin, Toomey, O'Donnell, they all would like to overturn Roe versus Wade,” Sestak said.

“I think there’s even more of an extreme taken by Congressman Toomey taken on such social issues,” Sestak added before spitting out the most outlandish claim of the night. "Congressman Toomey actually opposes protecting a victim of hate crimes," he said. 

Toomey opposes hate crimes legislation, but rest assured that he supports prosecuting criminals and protecting victims. "I think it’s a bad idea for the government to legislate what they think people are thinking -- what’s in person’s heart or mind when a crime’s being done," Toomey said in 2004. "And they should be vigorously prosecuted."

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 19 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers