October 12, 2018
Pennsylvania’s governor’s race is just 25 days out from Election Day, and Republican candidate Scott Wagner seems to have a good bit of ground to make up in his battle against Democratic incumbent Tom Wolf.
Just this week, Wagner said he was “tapped out” after investing millions of his own money. A late September poll from Muhlenberg College showed 55 percent support for Wolf to 36 percent support for Wagner.
All of this is to say, it’s now or never time for Wagner. Perhaps that explains a video Wagner posted Friday to his campaign’s Facebook page from York, Pennsylvania, that has him saying he would “stomp all over” Wolf’s face “with golf spikes” before November 6.
Full video of GOP candidate Scott Wagner threatening Gov. Tom Wolf: "You better put a catcher's mask on your face because I'm going to stomp all over your face with golf spikes." pic.twitter.com/Whh6TdsOXz— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) October 12, 2018
In the full video, which you can watch here, Wagner is standing in front of a roadside billboard in York. The billboard, paid for an independent organization unaffiliated with Tom Wolf, reads, “Scott Wagner’s Penn Waste sued 6,979 Pennsylvanians. Learn why. Go to PennWasteAlert.com.”
Next to him, Wagner has a chair full of what he says represent 600 paychecks mailed out by his businesses. Wagner discusses his business acumen for the majority of the video and also attacks Wolf’s credentials before offering this up:
“Somewhere yesterday, your people said I’ve raised the white flag. Well, Governor Wolf, let me tell you, between now and November 6, you better put a catcher’s mask on 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, and we’re throwing you out of office.”
That’s not exactly normal campaign trail jargon, and plenty of people took notice. Here’s a reaction from Wolf’s press secretary, J.J. Abbott:
A spokesperson for Wagner’s campaign told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Julian Routh that the comments weren’t to be taken literally:
Wagner spokesman says the candidate's comments were "not to be taken literally."— Julian Routh (@julianrouth) October 12, 2018
"He wanted them to be a metaphor for how he will approach the final stretch of the campaign."
One would be hard-pressed to take Wagner’s comments as a literal threat rather than a metaphor, but it's still an unusually aggressive one.
Pennsylvania's midterm elections will be held on Nov. 6.