Specter airing anti-Toomey ads

April 2, 2009 12:41:02 PM PDT
Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter is airing TV ads that criticize former congressman Pat Toomey even before Toomey announces his candidacy. The ads began airing on cable TV stations across the state on Thursday.

The 30-second spots claim Toomey sold risky derivatives called "credit default swaps" as a Wall Street trader before his election to Congress in 1998. They say those derivatives caused the meltdown of the financial services industry.

Toomey says Specter has his facts wrong. He says he never sold a credit default swap because that type of derivative hadn't been invented yet.

The conservative Toomey nearly beat Specter in the 2004 Republican primary. He began seriously considering a Senate run for next year after Specter angered many Republicans by casting one of three GOP votes for the federal economic stimulus package.

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