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Politics & Government

Toomey's Take on the Primary and Budget

Pennsylvania Republicans will cast votes tomorrow to nominate a U.S. Senate candidate. U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) says it is understandable that many voters do not yet know much about the five men running, and admits that he has not encountered many constituents who are aware of the five GOP candidates: David Christian, Sam Rohrer, Marc Scaringi, Tom Smith, and Steve Welch.

"Well, I mean, my wife knows who's running," Toomey said. "I spoke with her before I got in the car today."

The five-way race has been remarkable for its lack of traction among voters, with high numbers still undecided, according to recent polls. Toomey adds that introducing voters to candidates is what the primary process is all about.

"Whoever emerges from the primary will then, of course, have the chance to really deliver a message that will not have to contend with the competition from a big, crowded field," Toomey said.

The winner will likely take on incumbent Senator Bob Casey, who is challenged in the Democratic primary by Joseph Vodvarka.

Toomey on the Budget

Toomey notes that the country's next president will play a big role in how close Congress gets to passing a budget that tackles the nation's deficit, and says ultimately herding members of Congress to pass a plan will take presidential leadership.

"Governor Romney has made it very clear he understands this, he supports getting our budget on a path to balance," Toomey said. "President Obama does not, and I think the voters are going to reward the candidate who is going to solve this problem."

Toomey recently introduced his own budget proposal for the second year in a row after his first proposal failed to win any Democratic votes. But, Toomey says he is cautiously optimistic some Democrats will sign on to some elements of his latest spending plan even though it includes tax reforms, changes to Medicare and Medicaid, and cuts to welfare programs.

"There are Democrats who share this view," Toomey said. "We need to get them to come forward and sign up for specific ideas and plans."

The goal of Toomey's budget proposal is to eliminate the deficit in eight years.