Allentown Morning Call
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., harshly criticized the Obamaadministration’s foreign policy on Monday, accusing it, among other things, of being too accommodating to Russia and of failing to encourage democratic protests in Iran.
Toomey’s remarks before the monthly Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon came hours before President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney were to meet in a final debate to discuss foreign policy.
Toomey assailed the White House’s approach to international affairs, saying it had abdicated America’s traditional approach to leadership, resulting in a world moving increasingly away from American values.
The leadership vacuum, Toomey said, is giving rise to nations — like China, Russia and Iran — “that have no interest in a world order in which there are ever-increasing democracies.”
While Romney has no hands-on experience in international affairs, Toomey said he believes that the former Massachusetts governor “better understands the importance of American leadership around the world.”
Toomey, a fiscal conservative and tax hawk, also addressed the looming “fiscal cliff,” a combination of large tax hikes and government spending cuts set for January unless Congress intervenes. Toomey has been shopping his own alternative among colleagues, but has yet to publicly unveil it.
If the federal governments goes off the cliff, Toomey warned of the $110 billion in spending cuts’ impact on the military, and said the $500 billion in tax increases include “a nearly tripling of the tax on dividend income, a huge increase in capital gains, marginal tax increases on everyone who pays taxes.”
On the election, Toomey said Romney’s campaign is watching Pennsylvania closely and could launch statewide commercials in the closing days. Both the Romney and the Obama camps have money to spare this fall.
Bolstered by a stronger performance in last week’s second debate, Obama holds a 5-percentage-point edge over Romney in Pennsylvania, according to The Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll released Sunday night, and leads 50 percent to 45 percent. The survey, conducted Oct. 17 through Sunday, included 444 likely voters. Its margin of error is plus or minus 5 percentage points.