On the Pennsylvania gubernatorial campaign trail Friday, what started as a stern rebuke on a matter of policy became a threat of violence flowered with peculiar sports imagery.
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Republican candidate for governor Scott Wagner stood before a highway billboard in York Friday afternoon put up by Gov. Wolf’s campaign, which criticized Wagner’s experience as a businessman. The comments came near the end of a three minute video which was posted on Wagner’s Facebook page at around noon (watch it below).
“I’m going to stomp all over your face with golf spikes,” Wagner warned Wolf.
As of 3 p.m. Friday, the video remained up. Wagner’s office issued a statement Friday afternoon, shortly after the video was published, stating that the comments were meant metaphorically.
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“Scott’s comments were not to be taken literally,” spokesperson Andrew Romeo said in a email to Patch. “He wanted them to be a metaphor for how he will approach the final stretch of the campaign. Tom Wolf has spent the entire race hiding behind false and negative attack ads like a coward instead of debating in front of the people of Pennsylvania and Scott will spend the last month of the race making it clear to voters why they should not give him a second term.”
The billboard put up by Wolf’s campaign read “Scott Wagner’s Penn Waste Sued 6,979 Pennsylvanians. Learn Why. Go To PennWasteAlert.com.”
“Governor Wolf, you know, I actually thought you were smarter,” Wagner said. “You know, you’re actually not very smart. You’re trashing small businesses.”
Wagner said the billboard references debts which all businesses have to collect. He went on to criticize Wolf’s track record with small businesses as governor, citing business lost during the infamous budget standoff.
But things drew to a different tenor altogether when Wagner mentioned that Wolf’s campaign had said he’d “raised the white flag.” Here’s the quote it in its full context:
“You don’t wanna do town hall meetings, you don’t wanna do debates,” Wagner said. “And I tell you what. I love your campaign stuff. Your people said I raised the white flag. Well, governor, let me tell you. Between now and November 6, you better put a catcher’s mask over your face. Because I’m going to stomp all over your face with golf spikes. Because I’m gonna win this for the state of Pennsylvania.”
According to an average of polls compiled by RealClearPolitics, Wolf currently holds a 16.8 percentage lead in the race. As a point of reference, Hillary Clinton led Donald Trump by around seven points in Pennsylvania in the days before the 2016 election (Trump ultimately won the Keystone State).
Trump endorsed Wagner during a campaign rally with him on Wednesday night, calling him a “really good man” and a “hard worker.”
Gov. Wolf’s campaign has not yet issued a response to Wagner’s comments Friday. As of early Friday afternoon, Wagner’s Facebook video had been viewed more than 23,000 times.
Image via Youtube