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PA-Gov: Rendell Calls Out McCord for Negative Ad

DSC01459When a primary contest gets too negative, party elders usually try to temper the waters and there likely isn’t a more powerful or respected elder in the PA Democratic party right now than former Governor Ed Rendell.

This morning Gov. Rendell held a press conference at the Fresh Grocer on Broad Street near Temple University to comment about the recent developments in the race, specifically Rob McCord’s ad attacking Wolf for his association with former York Mayor Charles Robertson.

Comments on McCord’s 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.”

He asserted that Tom Wolf is not a racist and has in fact been part of the solution concerning York’s troubled past. Rendell also brought up the fact that Wolf donated $20,000 to McCord’s campaign for State Treasurer in 2008.

“I assume Rob McCord vetted Tom Wolf in 2008,” he remarked.

He went on to call the ad “not correct, not true, not appropriate, it’s wrong,” and suggested the McCord campaign was trying to piggyback on the recent fervor around the comments of Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

“Mr. McCord is better than this,” Rendell said. “This stuff gives politics a bad name.”

When asked if the ad should disqualify McCord as a candidate, the Governor disagreed yet also qualified that “people should take it into account” when deciding whether or not to support McCord.

The Governor also answered that he did not reach out to McCord before this event because “I know what he’d say, he’s keeping them [the ads] up.”

Concerning why he thought the State Treasurer would run such an ad, the Governor posited that consultants likely talked him into it given his place in the polls. When asked about Rep. Schwartz’s attacks against Wolf, Rendell was less fervent but did note that Wolf’s family has given $50,000 to Schwartz’s campaigns.

Praise for Wolf and McGinty

“Tom Wolf is a good man, a decent man,” Rendell said of the front-runner. “Tom Wolf is no way, no how, no space racially insensitive.”

In contrast to his decision not to talk with Rob McCord beforehand, Rendell did admit he contacted the Wolf campaign in order to get details on the contribution that McCord had accepted from Wolf.

Additionally, Rendell took the time to praise the positive way Katie McGinty has managed her campaign.

“It doesn’t matter what polls show, you should never lose your integrity,” he said. “Katie McGinty deserves credit for the type of campaign she’s run.”

Finally, Gov. Rendell was asked about possibly endorsing Wolf.

“The Wolf campaign doesn’t need my help,” he answered.

It’s important to point out that both Wolf and McGinty served in Rendell’s cabinet during his time as Governor, Wolf as Department of Revenue Secretary from 2007 to 2008 and McGinty as Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection from 2003 to 2008. Therefore, it is not a shocking development that he would have nice things to say about both of them.


According to Thomas Fitzgerald of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Democratic Sen. Bob Casey also called on McCord to pull down the ad, calling it “offensive”.

Rob McCord has scheduled a press conference at 3:00 today to “discuss issues of race and leadership in the Democratic Primary for governor.”

One last note for those who are interested, I got the chance to talk briefly with the Governor after the press conference and asked the noted Eagles fan who he thought they would take on Thursday in the first round of the NFL Draft. Rendell felt head coach Chip Kelly would likely go with a wide receiver and mentioned Oregon State’s Brandon Cooks and USC’s Marqise Lee as possibilities.

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  10. I’m still waiting to hear one disputed fact from this ad David. I can forgive Wolf for his sins, I’m just saying the Democrats would never forgive a Republican for his actions whereas they’re falling all over themselves to cover for Wolf.
    Democrats’s double-standard on race is replete with examples. I’m just pointing out another one. You can’t admit it and after being backed into a corner have gone so far as calling all other industrialized nations with a voter ID racists. Stop digging. Just admit when you’re beat.

  11. If you are going to play the “who have whom money” game, Wolf have McCord about $20,000 during his runs for treasurer. So our current Treasurer mustn’t think think that Mr. Wolf’s association’s are that bad, or maybe it’s just that his money was just that good.

  12. All the Dem’s who want it taken down realize they may have to support this guy in the fall and they’re embarrassed that they’ll be exposed as hypocrites on racial sins.

  13. Observer, It’s not just Rendell that is calling this ad shameful… Sen. Casey is as well.

  14. Funny, just as McCord’s campaign is self-imploding, he picks up an endorsement from the Philadelphia Inquirer. McCord’s wife Leigh was a former Inquirer writer, so its no surprise their ties with McCord are strong. But, a newspaper endorsement is less “news” than a very popular former governor and stalwart of the Democrat machine condemning your campaign practices. Rendell will hurt McCord more than Inky will help him. And…rightfully so. The pandering McCord has done to win votes from the African American community is shameful. His attack ad bringing racism into the discussion is the low and desperate act of a 3rd place candidate whining for attention. Equally distasteful is the way McCord “parades” his African American wife in front of the camera to bolster his racial sensitivity cred. Fortunately, the African American community is smart and savvy enough to see through this transparent pandering. It is actually demeaning of McCord to believe he can capture their vote based on his questionable bio rather than a frank discussion of the issues. Time for McCord to go to bed. The adults need to talk.

  15. As one of the most corrupt politicians PA has ever produced (see, e.g., every deal he and David Cohen ever cooked up together), Fast Eddie needs to shut up and stay out of any Dem primary – he brings a bad stink on any candidate he supports, in the eyes of the rest of the state. Notice he says nothing about Corporate Tom’s negative ads, or about One-Term Tom’s Big Gas bribery? That’s because Tommie is doing exactly what he would be doing if he were still on the gravy train. STFU, Ed.

  16. Correct me if I am wrong, but you should have pointed out that Wolf gave Rendell approximately $250,000 for his past campaigns.

  17. If Corbett had committed Wolf’s sins, the McCordites and Wolfpac would have piled it on. Hypocrites all.

  18. So if someone accuses McCord of being a racist, he’ll just pull out the old “some of my best wives are black” dodge. How convenient! But seriously, trying to smear Wolf with Robertson is no different than the Obama-Ayers crap, which didn’t work either. McCord is desperate and swinging for the fences with this ad, but I predict he stikes out.

  19. Fat eddy has no influence in this race. McCord asked a question and wolf won’t answer. Mccords family is diverse. It’s personal to him. If wolf would answer we all move on. McCord knows where he stands in this race no matter what the polls show. Check the endorsements.

  20. Politics turns the world upside down. Supporting a racist is okay, but pointing that out is disgraceful. False outrage is silly. When called on this Tom Wolf pulled a another expensive, slick video from the drawer. First rule of crisis management: own up, apologize and move on. Instead we get more video. If he just said, “I was wrong, I am sorry.” This would be over. People forgive. Hard to understand why Wolf keeps getting a pass. Oh right—$$$. When did Democrats decide to give up on democracy?

  21. Haha, Ed Rendell is a political animal and smart opportunist of the first order. He smelled blood in the water and that this McCord ad could easily backfire and spun back around on McCord. Plus look at the political connections between Rendell and Wolf. Sorry to be less than idealistic, but this is politics pure and simple and not everyone’s high minded umbrage over McCords ad. They want Wolf to win and McCord made a dumb mistake on this and they are capitalizing on it and trying to put the last nails in the other candidates coffins. Not like they all don’t probably deserve it for running crappy campaigns. McCord and Schwartz both had the money to get up on TV, they should have never let Wolf dominate the airwaves and open up such a wide lead. And McCords going after the race issue is, as we are obviously seeing, dumb and unnecessary. They should have made some justifiable attacks on Wolfs corporate background if they wanted to go neg. there’s plenty there for this corporatist in Democrat’s clothing. If the Republican Party wasn’t so ape shit these days Tom Wolf would be a big business moderate Republican.

  22. I believe this press conference had EVERYTHING to do with Governor Rendell being justifiably upset by the specious, unfair, uncalled for attack by Rob McCord. The ad is offensive and shameful. There is never a place in the political discourse for this type of inaccurate personal attack.

  23. I’m sure this press conference has nothing to do with the Wolf team being made up of former Rendell people.

  • Understanding that basic education funding should/will be first, what should be the next highest priority for the General Assembly?

    • Raising The Minimum Wage (25%)
    • Legalizing Adult-Use Marijuana (24%)
    • None of the above. Something Else. (20%)
    • Economic Development (14%)
    • Higher Education (8%)
    • Public Transportation (8%)
    • Workforce Opportunities and Innovation (2%)

    Total Voters: 51

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