Tea Party Sen. Pat Toomey Won't Support Moderate Republican Olympia Snowe

Conservative known for taking out moderate Republicans neutral in key race.

March 31, 2011, 3:38 PM

April 1, 2011 -- Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, is a ripe target for a Tea Party challenge as she runs for re-election next year.

She won't be able to count on support of all of her Republican colleagues -- at least not Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.

Asked directly in an interview with Jonathan Karl's "Subway Series," "Will you be endorsing Sen. Snowe?" Toomey had this to say: "Look, I think this is a very dynamic environment and probably almost every Republican senator's going to face a primary challenge."

While Toomey said he won't be supporting Snowe, he won't oppose her either.

"I'm not going to be opposing," Toomey said in an interview aboard the Capitol Subway. "I'm not going to be getting involved in a lot of races."

The bottom line is Toomey will remain neutral in Maine and many other upcoming key Senate races.

Toomey rode the Republican wave of the last election cycle to Washington, helped in large part by the Tea Party. Now a member of the government he once railed against, Toomey's views on opposing moderate Republicans clearly have changed, or at least softened.

Toomey was at the helm of the anti-tax organization Club for Growth in 2009 when it ran a $1.2 million ad against Snowe for her work with Democrats on the health care bill. The organization also ran a flurry of ads against Snowe in 2003 when she voted against the Bush tax cuts.

Toomey talked with ABC News about why, this election cycle, he'll take a more neutral approach.

"I've got plenty of work to do" in the Senate, he said. "That's what I'm focused on.''In a wide-ranging interview, Toomey also addressed prospects for a government shutdown, the impasse over the debt limit and whether or not he could see himself endorsing a Sarah Palin presidential run.

To watch more of Karl's interview with Toomey, click HERE.

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