Mastriano Declines LNP Debate Invite; Calls News Staff “Left-Wing Hacks”

Doug Mastriano

Apparently Doug Mastriano meant what he said when he outlined his criteria for participating in fall debates.

The Republican candidate for governor declined an invitation from LNP | Lancaster Online to debate Democratic opponent Josh Shapiro on Oct. 18 in collaboration with Franklin & Marshall College and WITF. The trio proposed Stephen Medvic, professor of government and director of F&M’s Center for Politics and Public Affairs, as the moderator with reporters from LNP and WITF on the panel.

The official response from the Mastriano campaign came in the form of an email from Kimberly Orr, who identified herself as his campaign scheduler. “Thank you for the debate invitation. Unfortunately, he will not be able to attend.”

The unofficial response came in the form of a radio interview with WHP-AM 580 on Thursday morning.

“I just got another invite last night from, you know, Lancaster news online,” Mastriano told host RJ Harris. “Are you kidding me? These guys have been inflammatory ever since I stepped my toe in politics. I mean, they’re a paper that listed, ‘Mastriano is all this …’ It’s typical left-wing stuff. They call me names. ‘He’s a hater. He’s this. He’s a supremacist.’

“There’s no way that those guys could be fair. And that they have the audacity, or stupidity for that matter, to think that they could honestly host a debate and that I’d be dumb enough to agree to go with such left-wing hacks that are so blind that it’s a cognitive bias — they don’t even realize how bad it is, I guess.”

“Our reporting on Sen. Mastriano has been thorough, fair and factual,” LNP executive editor Tom Murse responded. “It is important to note that Sen. Mastriano has made no claims that any of our reporting has been inaccurate.”

The Republican contender wrote to Shapiro earlier in the week, indicating that “my proposal should make it clear that I am eager to debate you on a level playing field. The old model of unfair debates run by the mainstream news media or hosts with a partisan agenda is not something I will entertain.”

Mastriano wrote that, in his opinion, GOP candidates often face a 2-on-1 trap in general election debates, noting that the media is “unpaid advocates and ideological allies of the Democrat candidates.”

The Republican candidate even provided a history lesson for Harris, noting “In 2018, even Alex Trebek couldn’t help himself but get in an argument with the Republican candidate (Scott) Wagner.”

“Doug Mastriano’s unserious proposal is an obvious stunt to avoid any real questions about his extreme agenda and record of conduct by dictating his own rules for debates,” responded Shapiro campaign spokesperson Will Simons.

Mike Straub, spokesperson from Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster), said the Speaker of the House had no comment about his experiences with LNP. PoliticsPA also reached out for comment from Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-17), who represents Lancaster and York Counties, but has not received a response.

Mastriano also called out the Philadelphia Inquirer and WHYY-FM, the NPR affiliate in Philadelphia.

Listen to the 10-minute interview.

15 Responses

  1. More crybaby antics from Mastri-ah-NO! Attack the media knowing it doesn’t (nor is it structured to) fight back. It’s a stale, shallow and unbelievably thin-skinned approach where everybody loses – but mostly him. He’s a chicken-scrap coward who knows that by engaging conventionally, he’d get creamed even more.

  2. Honestly, if I were advising him, Mastriano is doing exactly what I’d tell him to do at this point. There’s no pivot to the center for him that is remotely believable. Double and triple down on the MAGA stuff to rally your base, and hope that the sluggish macroenvironment, a relatively milquetoast opponent and ambivalence towards Biden depresses opposing turnout. It’s a Hail Mary pass to be sure, but has a better chance of working than fighting a traditional fight.

  3. MEANWHILE ….

    Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano has promoted and campaigned with Julie Green, a “prophet” who has claimed that God will execute political figures “for their planned pandemic, shortages, inflation, mandates and for stealing an election.” The Mastriano ally and fringe religious commentator has also alleged a variety of conspiracy theories, including that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “loves to drink the little children’s blood”; the government is conducting “human sacrifices” to stay in power; and President Joe Biden is secretly dead and an “actor” is playing him.

    Green, who says she has a “special relationship” with Mastriano, has implicated numerous Republican figures as traitors, including Republican Governors Association co-chair and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. She has alleged that there will be a video showing that he took a bribe to swing the 2020 election and he “will be no more, and treason will be written on” him “for all eternity.”

    Mastriano’s connection to Green is yet another chapter in his history of promoting extremist media. He tweeted QAnon content on Twitter more than 50 times. He shared anti-Muslim content on Facebook. He posted an image claiming Roe v. Wade is “so much” worse than the Holocaust. And he paid for “consulting” with Gab, the white nationalist social media platform that’s headed by a virulent antisemite and filled with violent antisemitic threats. Mastriano is also a January 6 insurrectionist.

    Green is the head of Julie Green Ministries. She claims that God regularly sends her prophecies, which she posts online through sites such as Rumble alongside calls for donations. She also participates in events organized by right-wing grifter and conspiracy theorist Clay Clark. Green is part of a pro-Trump prophet movement that frequently and inaccurately predicts good fortune for the former president.

    Green’s prophecies are badly performed pro-Trump fantasies in which God has “chosen” Trump to be his “Moses” to “deliver the people out of the hands of these nowaday pharaohs.” In this telling, the “majority” of states will decertify their 2020 election results, Trump will “take back his rightful place of power,” and God will send his “Angel of Death” to take the lives of people who stole the 2020 election, among other alleged misdeeds.

    Green’s prophecies justify the coming deaths of elected officials by alleging vast conspiracy theories. For instance, she claimed Rep. Ilhan Omar is “a spy sent from your land to get everything you could to give it back to the nation that you serve”; she said that Sen. Mitt Romney’s “fingerprints will be found all over the fraud of the 2020 election”; and alleged that Govs. Gretchen Whitmer and Brian Kemp were also involved in stealing the 2020 election.

    Her prophecies have a special place for Mastriano and Pennsylvania. On February 28, she prophesied: “Doug Mastriano, I have you here for such a time as this, saith the Lord. I know it seemed like I had forsaken you, all your hard work, and all the time you put forth to get to the truth in election integrity. You know the truth, and you have seen so much evidence of what really happened. It is now time to move forward with the plans you have been given. Yes, Doug, I am here with you. I will not forsake you. The time has come for their great fall and for the great steal to be overturned.”

    Mastriano and his campaign have taken notice of Green. On March 15, Mastriano invited Green to give the opening prayer at a campaign event. Mastriano campaign aide Vishal Jetnarayan introduced Green by saying he was sent her prophecy. He added that “we’re so honored to have you over here” and welcomed her as “a representative of God.” During her prayer, Green said that “everything that has been stolen will be overturned by your hand” and Mastriano will be “the next governor of Pennsylvania.”

    Mastriano also shared a Green prophecy video on March 25, in which she claimed that Pennsylvania is a “hornet’s nest of corruption,” that “I, the Lord, am cleansing your state,” and that “something very special will come out of your state.”

    And on May 13, Green said she was asked by Mastriano aide Jetnarayan to record a message and made a 25-minute video for followers in which she prayed on behalf of Mastriano and his campaign team: “I thank you for giving them endurance. I thank you for giving them strength. I thank you for giving them everything they need, Father God, to cross that finish line.” She added: “Every one that comes against them shall fall before their face. Every lie will be revealed, everything will be exposed. And I thank you, Father God, those people that have been up against this campaign, up against each and every one of these people, Father God, will fall and be exposed in Jesus’ mighty name.”

    Mastriano also posted a picture of himself with Green on April 25; and he appeared alongside her at the Patriots Arise conference that month, where she read a prophecy that stated: “Yes, Doug, I am here for you and I have not forsaken you. The time has come for their great fall; for the great steal to be overturned. So keep your faith in me.” (QAnon and antisemitic conspiracy theorists organized that conference.)

    During a June 10 interview, Green said that she has been able to “go to Pennsylvania several times to see him” and that “we just have a special relationship.”

    By using Green in his campaign events and social media content, Mastriano is deploying someone who has pushed QAnon-aligned rhetoric and justified the executions of public officials, including those who are politically opposed to Mastriano.

    1. This is radical right wing ChristoFascist extremism. There is nothing constitutional or biblical about any of this!

    1. He;s even afraid of Women! As in, the League of Women Voters. Coward never got NEAR a firefight.

  4. It’s dilly finding something wrong with LNP, Franklin and Marshall, WITF. It’s gutless to hide behind your fear of criticism to not face an opponent in a debate. The audio clip was an embarrassingly fawning interview. Is this politics now? We only talk to people who agree with us? Alex Trebeck, according to Mastriano was leftist Dem? He was a Canadian and certainly did not tip the election in Wolf’s favor.

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