Pressure continues to mount on Rob McCord to take down his ad that links Tom Wolf to controversial York Mayor Robertson.
Here’s the transcript of the ad: “[Wolf] spent millions on tv ads but now serious questions Tom Wolf can’t answer. Why would he chair the campaign of a man arrested for his role in a race riot, one that left a black woman dead? Why would wolf stand by an admitted racist charged with first degree murder, one who shouted white power and handed out ammunition at a race riot? For York, Pennsylvania, it was an ugly episode. For Tom Wolf, there’s just no good answer.”
Over the weekend, Governor Ed Rendell rebuked McCord for the ad.
“As you know I have refrained from endorsing in this race, and I’m not here to endorse, but rather to correct the record,” Rendell began. “The ad that Rob McCord has put on TV is wrong, ill-conceived, and not the type of ad I’m proud to see in politics.”
Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) suggested that the ad be removed.
“I have refrained from endorsing a candidate in the gubernatorial primary and I am not endorsing today. However, I wanted to speak out about one of the recent ads run against Tom Wolf. I have known Tom for a long time and he is a person of uncommon integrity and an abiding commitment to justice and fairness,” Casey said. “This ad is offensive. I hope it will be taken down and that all of the candidates will focus on the importance of moving the Commonwealth in a new direction.”
And today, Democratic leaders from Allegheny County are pushing McCord to remove the ad.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald issued the following statement today in regards to recent actions in the gubernatorial election:
“I join former Governor Ed Rendell and United States Senator Bob Casey in calling for the McCord campaign to take this ad down. Personal character assassination, especially as unwarranted as this is, has no place in campaigns. Those in the community who know Tom best, like Mayor Kim Bracey, York’s first African American Mayor, have attested to Tom’s character and integrity,” Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said. “The actions of the McCord campaign are disappointing, desperate and will backfire with the voters who know better.”
“As the Chair of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee, I am committed to electing a Democratic governor. This is not what our party is all about,” Allegheny County Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy Mills. “I agree with County Executive Fitzgerald and others who have asked for this ad to be taken down, and encourage Rob McCord to stop running this negative campaign ad.”
Both Mills and Fitzgerald endorsed Wolf earlier in the race.
The McCord campaign responded:
“It’s not surprising that Tom Wolf’s supporters don’t want to have an honest conversation about race and leadership in Pennsylvania. Their candidate flunked the basic test of leadership for a Democrat seeking to be governor: Are you willing to stand up to racism when it’s staring you in the face?
“When Tom Wolf was chairing Mayor Robertson’s primary campaign and Mayor Robertson admitted to being a racist, Tom Wolf said he’d continue to serve as his chairman in the general election, too. And now he’s claiming that his relationship with Robertson ended when Robertson dropped out of the race even though we know Tom Wolf continued to donate money to Robertson’s campaign months later. That’s not leadership, it’s a total failure of leadership and Tom Wolf won’t explain it. To this day, we haven’t heard a single word from him on this subject. Just his supporters talking for him.
“The bottom line is, it’s not enough to say ‘I oppose racism.’ If you want to lead this state, if you want to represent all the people of Pennsylvania, you have to be willing to confront race and act decisively. Tom Wolf’s actions prove that he shrinks when we need him to be bold. That’s simply not good enough. Our Democratic Party deserves a leader who has the courage to speak up, be courageous, and tackle tough issues like this.
“Out on the campaign trail, Rob is hearing from people who are thanking him for speaking out on the issue of race and leadership and he’s proud to tackle this tough issue. Even if it makes some people uncomfortable now, it’s to our benefit in the long run.”