Bloomberg group airs TV ad thanking Toomey

Call Washington Bureau

A gun control advocacy group backed by New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg began airing a television ad Thursday that thanks Sen. Pat Toomey for his work on background checks.

The Mayors Against Illegal Guns 30-second spot shows the Capitol building tilted with ominous clouds overhead. A narrator says, "Washington likes to argue" as voices talk over each other in the background. Then happy music swells as a smiling Toomey appears. "Sen. Pat Toomey likes to get things done," the narrator continues.

"Courage and commonsense that's Pat Toomey," the voiceover concludes. "Tell him to keep fighting for background checks." 

Toomey, who was the lead Republican in a failed push for expanding background checks on firearm sales at gun shows and online, has seen a bump in his job approval since his very public effort last month. His numbers went up nine percentage points in a Franklin & Marshall College poll released this week.

Since the vote failed, Toomey has been adamant that he's moved on to work on other issues, particularly economic ones. But gun control advocates, the White House and many congressional Democrats have vowed not to give up.

Though Toomey is not up for re-election until 2016, it won't be an easy win for the Lehigh County Republican who won by only two points in a 2010 GOP wave year. It will also be a presidential campaign year, when Democrats tend to outperform in Pennsylvania.

But Toomey has made some new friends now if he wants their help. Bloomberg told The Morning Call during a brief chat at the White House Correspondents Dinner that Toomey will now always have his support after he stood up to his party for gun control.

"Americans want elected officials that have the courage and independence to stand up for common sense legislation, even when special interests oppose it – as Senator Toomey did when he co-sponsored gun safety legislation with Senator Manchin,” Bloomberg said in a statement.  â€œWe need more leaders who are willing to reach across the aisle and find common ground, so that we can keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill and reduce the gun violence that results in 33 murders every day in our country.”                   

The ad is airing in Philadelphia and Harrisburg through May 22.


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