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U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey, A Republican, And Bob Casey, A Democrat

November 12, 2011 by staff 

U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey, A Republican, And Bob Casey, A Democrat, Pennsylvania’s two U.S. senators are rescinding their support for a Presidential Medal of Freedom for Joe Paterno, in the wake of the legendary football coach’s dismissal amid a sex abuse scandal at Penn State.

Sens. Bob Casey, a Democrat, and Pat Toomey, a Republican, had sent a letter to President Obama in September backing Paterno for the nation’s highest civilian honor.

But that was before allegations of child sex abuse against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky rocked the Penn State community. Paterno, coach of the Nittany Lions for 46 years, and university president Graham Spanier were fired last night.

In a joint statement, the senators said they were rescinding their support “in light of recent events in State College.” Casey and Toomey made similar comments in a letter today to Obama.

Here’s the rest of their statement:

We hope the proper authorities move forward with their investigation without delay. Penn State is an important institution in our commonwealth. We should turn our attention to the victims of these atrocious crimes and ensure they get the help they need. Our hearts and prayers go out to them and their families.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the president has no comment on any aspect of the Penn State scandal, except that Obama’s thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

“If the allegations about what happened up there prove true … what happened is outrageous,” Carney told reporters.

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