THE ECONOMY, central to the campaigns of U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. and Republican foe Tom Smith, played the starring role in their lone debate Friday.
Casey cast Smith, who sold his Armstrong County coal company and spent $16.5 million of his profits on his campaign, as a Tea Party radical who supports Republican budget proposals that will hurt middle-class taxpayers.
Smith called Casey "Senator Zero," a career politician who hadn't done anything to end deficit spending in the federal budget or reduce the national debt.
Casey, in a debate taped at 6ABC to be aired on that station Sunday at 1 p.m., spoke of working to extend the payroll-tax cut amid a recovering economy. He said that saved middle-class families about $1,000 and noted that Smith called it a "gimmick."