At 1st Debate, Corbett Leaves Substance at Home… Then Leaves to Go Home
Corbett continues to evade tough questions about how he would lead Pennsylvania
PITTSBURGH: The first gubernatorial debate of the general election pitted Democratic gubernatorial nominee Dan Onorato’s experience turning around an economy and balancing the budget, and his plans for doing the same for the state, against Harrisburg Republican Tom Corbett’s empty campaign rhetoric.
Both during and after the debate, Corbett continued to avoid tough questions on how his promises would actually work and whether he would be able to address the state’s fiscal crisis.
So if Corbett refused to answer questions about how he’d balance the state budget, how did the GOP nominee spend his time?
First, he had to “once again walk back from a much criticized statement earlier in the campaign in which he suggested that many residents were spurning jobs in favor of unemployment compensation payments.” [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
And then, “speaking last in closing statements, Corbett landed one of the night’s more personal shots.” [Allentown Morning Call]
Once that was done, “Corbett left the building as soon as the hour was up.” [Harrisburg Patriot-News] Or, as another news source put it, “Corbett, whose campaign expected him to [answer questions from the media after the debate], fled instead, claiming he had another event.” [Capitolwire]
Corbett’s behavior fits a consistent pattern for the Harrisburg insider:
Asked by Onorato to debate 14 times on the significant challenges facing Pennsylvania, Corbett agreed to just 3 debates
Corbett has consistently refused to stand before the media and answer unscripted questions
Corbett skipped the League of Cities & Municipalities candidate forum, and would not be on the same stage as Onorato for another gubernatorial event
“Pennsylvania voters deserve to hear how the gubernatorial nominees would address the problems facing Pennsylvania – from joblessness to the budget crisis,” said Onorato Communications Director Brian Herman. “If 80% of success is just showing up, it’s no wonder that Tom Corbett is failing when it comes to showing that he has the ability to lead Pennsylvania.”
A life-long Pennsylvanian, Dan Onorato was raised in a working class neighborhood on Pittsburgh’s North Side. He graduated college from Penn State and received his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Onorato has served as Allegheny County Executive since 2004 and was unopposed for re-election in 2007. Prior to being elected County Executive, Onorato served as Allegheny County Controller and a Pittsburgh City Councilman. Dan and his wife Shelly reside in the Brighton Heights neighborhood of Pittsburgh with their three children.