August 18, 2015

Pressure Mounts On Katie McGinty To Pick A Side On Iran Deal

The Obama administration’s controversial Iran deal is the latest issue shaking up the contentious Democratic senate primary between Joe Sestak and Katie McGinty in Pennsylvania. Specifically, McGinty’s refusal to take a positon is raising eyebrows given the focus on the issue in the race. The Philadelphia Inquirer identified foreign policy – specifically the Iran deal – as one of the top issues in the McGinty vs. Sestak primary:

Few elections hinge on foreign affairs, but Franklin and Marshall pollster Terry Madonna said this year might be an exception: “I think it’s a wild card.”

President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran is dominating the news right now and likely will continue to do so this fall as Congress prepares to vote on the pact. Recent months have also seen Russia, China, ISIS and Cuba grab national attention…

…This is Sestak’s home turf: he is a former three-star Admiral who commanded an aircraft carrier battle group in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was director of defense policy on President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council.

Both Sestak and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey have stated clear positions on the deal – Sestak supports it, Toomey opposes it – giving voters a clear choice in a hypothetical matchup.

But the Democratic machine’s handpicked candidate, Katie McGinty, has steadfastly refused to state her position on the deal. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Monday:

So far, no clear ideological divides have emerged between [McGinty and Sestak], although, in a recent interview, Ms. McGinty said she still hadn’t made up her mind on the Iran deal championed by the Obama administration. Mr. Sestak supports the deal.

McGinty’s campaign ignored follow-up inquiries from reporters. McGinty’s position – or lack thereof – smacks of political opportunism, given the deal’s popularity with the national Democrats engineering her senate bid and unpopularity with a majority of the electorate, according to polling. It appears McGinty campaign chairman Ed Rendell had it right when he said that the deal “certainly does put Democrats on the spot”: