By Cheryl R. Clark
Republican candidate for a U.S. Senate seat Pat Toomey made a stop at the Johnston Airport near here Friday.
Toomey greeted about 50 supporters, including state Rep. Matthew E. Baker, R-Wellsboro, and U.S. Rep. Glenn "GT" Thompson, R-Howard, among others.
Toomey was introduced with the backdrop of a huge American flag and antique planes in a large hangar decked out in red, white and blue bunting.
Accompanied by his 10-year-old daughter, Bridgett, the candidate spoke for about 10 minutes before making the rounds to individually speak with supporters.
The candidate said he is "very optimistic" about Republicans' prospects of re-taking control of Congress after the mid-term elections in November.
"Our campaign is in a great position," he said, adding that the Democratic administration and Congress is "making it easier" to win.
"This is a dangerous agenda," Toomey said of the Democrats' continuous spending. "It is staggering in scope, breadth and the departure of everything that made this country great."
Of his Democratic opponent, Joe Sestak, Toomey said that "the contrast between what we stand for couldn't be more clear."
"I would never support the job-killing agenda these guys are pushing on us," he said. "Joe Sestak is for all of it. In fact, he doesn't think it goes far enough."
Toomey was speaking of the multi-billion dollar stimulus package recently pushed through by the Obama administration.
Toomey also slammed the energy bill known as "Cap and Trade," which imposes what Toomey said is a "massive tax" on energy.
"This would be not only devastating to the economy in general but to Pennsylvania in particular," he said, noting that the Commonwealth is an "industrial, energy producing state."
About drilling in the Marcellus Shale, which Toomey said will create hundreds of thousands of jobs for the state, Toomey said it needs to be done in an "environmentally safe and regulated manner."
"DEP has been regulating drilling for decades, and if they need more manpower for the Marcellus Shale, they should have it," he said, "but I don't support a moratorium on all drilling, like my opponent does. That would kill the gas industry in our state."
In addition, Toomey said the massive health care bill President Barak Obama recently signed into law should be repealed.
He said it should be replaced with a more common-sense reform, including giving individuals the same ability to claim their health care insurance costs on their income taxes as employers get, making insurance companies available across state lines to open up competition and implementing malpractice reform.
"There is too much litigation that drives up the cost of health care," he said.