PHILADELPHIA—Democratic Senate hopeful Katie McGinty called Republican Sen. Pat Toomey (Pa.) an "asshole" during a union event near the Democratic National Convention on Monday.
Speaking at a Communications Workers for America event focused on raising the minimum wage McGinty said that Toomey is "an asshole, damnit," according to reporters who covered the event.
"I'm going to borrow from Chris: Pat Toomey, he's an asshole, damnit." Katie McGinty riffing off CWA's Chris Shelton pic.twitter.com/4OLOvNB1VP
— Alex Bolton (@alexanderbolton) July 25, 2016
Other reporters covering the union event confirmed the crude remark.
The decision to call Toomey an "asshole" is a noticeable change in direction from how Pennsylvania Democrats have treated Toomey in the past.
Former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, who is both McGinty's campaign chairman and chairman of the DNC host committee, has said that "you don't have to demonize your opponent."
"You don't have to demonize your opponent," said Rendell. "I've said Pat Toomey, the senator here, is a decent guy. I like Pat Toomey and I think he wants to do the right thing.
Rendell has also said that Toomey is "a man of uncommon decency."
"I’m trying to teach [Toomey], because I think he’s a man of uncommon decency and a man who wants the process to work," said Rendell during negotiations over bipartisan gun legislation.
The McGinty campaign did not respond to a request for comment on whether it stands behind the comment or plans to apologize.
Toomey took to Twitter to point to Rendell's former comments about his decency and say "apology accepted."
"We would refer @KatieMcGintyPA to her campaign chairman @GovEdRendell, who called Pat Toomey ‘a man of uncommon decency,'" said Toomey on Monday afternoon. "Apology accepted."
The conservative Senate Leadership Fund, which opposes McGinty's bid for Congress called on the candidate to apologize.
"Katie McGinty showed absolutely zero class in using profanity to insult Senator Pat Toomey on the campaign trail," said spokesman Ian Prior. "McGinty should immediately apologize for such a display of crude behavior completely unbecoming of someone running for the U.S. Senate."
It was announced on Sunday that McGinty will be speaking during the primetime hours of Thursday night's convention during the lead-up to Hillary Clinton's speech.