GOP Candidates For Governor Race To The Right In Last Night’s Debate

In last night’s debate, the Republican candidates for governor showed that they will do everything they can to appeal to the extremist, right wing of their party.

Who was there:  

SCOTT WAGNER

Wagner, the Republican State Committee’s endorsed candidate who’s made his own fortune in the waste-hauling business, is very comfortable picking up the torch carried through Pennsylvania by President Donald Trump in 2016, even to the point of calling out “lyin’ Paul” at one point when he felt Mango’s jabs were below the belt.

PAUL MANGO

“Mango, 58, is a former health care systems adviser billing himself as ultraconservative on social policy. He has courted the support of an obscure northern Pennsylvania minister who held a ceremony in which he blessed people’s assault rifles and thinks teachers indoctrinate students into “homosexual” and “transgender” political agendas.” [Morning Call, 3/2/18]

LAURA ELSWORTH

“Ellsworth is a long-shot candidate in the May 15 primary…” [Morning Call, 3/2/18]

Here’s what happened:  

THEY ALL BOWED TO DONALD TRUMP

“Asked about how closely they would be aligned with Mr. Trump or his administration, Mr. Wagner said, ‘I supported Donald Trump from Day 1’ and that he expects the president will campaign for him since he won the state Republican Party’s endorsement. Mr. Mango said he voted for Mr. Trump and would welcome the chance to campaign with him.” [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3/1/18]

THEY’RE AGAINST GREATER GUN SAFETY LAWS, MANGO/WAGNER WOULD TAKE NRA MONEY

“On a question about gun control, none of the candidates changed their position to advocate for greater gun-control measures, even ideas supported by Republican President Donald Trump this week following the Florida school shooting that killed 17.” [AP, 3/1/18]

“None of them supported more gun control measures, such as universal background checks or banning civilian use of assault rifles, high-capacity magazines and bump-stocks that turn semi-automatic weapons into rapid-fire automatic weapons.” [Morning Call, 3/2/18]

“Asked later whether they would accept donations from the National Rifle Association, Mr. Wagner and Mr. Mango said yes…” [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3/1/18]

THEY REFUSED TO STAND UP FOR VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT

“During Thursday’s PennLive/CBS21 GOP candidates debate, all three Republican gubernatorial hopefuls said they would not call on Miccarelli to step down…” [PennLive, 3/2/18]

“Asked whether a legislator should resign immediately upon allegations of sexual or physical assault and what they would do to ensure a safe environment, all three said they would have a zero-tolerance policy. None of them used the word resign.”  [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3/1/18]

THEY ARE ALL ANTI-CHOICE, SUPPORTED THE MOST ANTI-CHOICE BILL IN THE COUNTRY

“All three said they are “pro-life,” with Ms. Ellsworth and Mr. Wagner specifically stating they supported a state Senate bill that would have made it illegal to have an abortion starting in the 20th week of pregnancy, four weeks earlier than the current cut-off. That bill passed the Republican-controlled Legislature and was vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf.” [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3/1/18]

IT GOT HEATED

“Wagner, the party-endorsed candidate, accused Mango of “dropping out of the sky” to run for governor. He accused Mango of working for a consulting company that advised businesses how to lay off employees. ‘Every time his consulting company went into a company, thousands of jobs were lost,’ Wagner said. ‘I have a track record of starting businesses.’” [Morning Call, 3/2/18]

“A debate between the three Republicans seeking their party’s nomination to challenge Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf in November’s election quickly became confrontational Thursday night, as former health care systems consultant Paul Mango relentlessly attacked the party’s endorsed candidate, state Sen. Scott Wagner.” [AP, 3/1/18]

“‘This is the best time to call him ‘Lying Paul,'” [Wagner] said of Mango.” [WITF, 3/1/18]

“Wagner, the Republican State Committee’s endorsed candidate who’s made his own fortune in the waste-hauling business, is very comfortable picking up the torch carried through Pennsylvania by President Donald Trump in 2016, even to the point of calling out “lyin’ Paul” at one point when he felt Mango’s jabs were below the belt.” [Pennlive, 3/1/18]