Casey, Toomey Withdraw Support for Paterno Medal of Freedom Bid

Former Penn State football coach was nominated for highest civilian honor

U.S. Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) are no longer supporting the nomination of Joe Paterno for the 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom.

On Thursday, they issued the following joint statement:

“In light of the recent events in State College, we are rescinding our support for the nomination of Joe Paterno for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. We hope the proper authorities will 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.”

In early September Toomey, Casey and U.S. Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-Centre County) sent a letter to President Obama citing Paterno’s substantial contributions to collegiate athletics, higher education and American society.

Thompson is a Penn State grad and represents State College, where Penn State is located.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom honors individuals who make an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

The Medal of Freedom was first established by Pres. Harry Truman. Pres. John Kennedy turned it into the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

See past Medal of Freedom recipients here.

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