PA-Sen: Fetterman Calls McGinty the Party’s Preferred Candidate (VIDEO)

At a time when establishment candidates are not exactly popular, Katie McGinty’s two Democratic primary opponents are painting her as the establishment’s pick for the 2016 Senate nomination.

Yesterday, former Congressman Joe Sestak criticized Katie McGinty’s cascade of endorsements and proclaimed that he was not a machine politician.

Now America Rising, a conservative video tracking group, has released a video of Braddock Mayor John Fetterman acknowledging that McGinty is the unofficial choice of the party establishment.

The Mayor was asked about his relationship with the state party and whether they were already backing someone.

“No, they haven’t officially backed anybody,” he answers. “I think unofficially one of my opponents, Katie McGinty, is kind of being shuffled around as the [inaudible] candidate, but I don’t expect to be the leadership’s choice. I don’t look like the party leadership’s choice, I’ve never played that kind of role, you know, I never have in my community and I’m not going to play it in this election.”

“I think if you compare a lot of the things that we’ve accomplished here in Braddock, and compare to the fact that I’m the only person in this race that has constituents, you know, and again, I’ve raised more money than Joe Sestak or Katie McGinty, the difference is those funds went to build up my community – not into my campaign coffers,” Fetterman continues. “If I’d been doing this for the last seven years like Joe Sestak has or, you know, Katie McGinty, I’d be sitting on a big war chest of funds too.”

“I’m taking this grassroots, just the way my other election was in Braddock and, you know, 1,000 donors is well ahead of Katie McGinty, and it’s like [inaudible] we have this grassroots campaign, and to me that’s the most important thing,” he concludes. “Win or lose, if I do it with integrity and from a grassroots perspective, you know, no matter what the final vote is I feel like I can’t lose.”

The 1,000 donors Fetterman refers to are from the preliminary Q3 numbers that his campaign released on Tuesday.

America Rising wasted no time trying to further drive a wedge between the Democratic combatants.

“Pennsylvania is the latest senate primary to become a headache for national Democrats,” said America Rising PAC Press Secretary Amelia Chassé. “With almost six months to go until primary day, the divide between grassroots voters and establishment elites is deepening and the Democrat-on-Democrat attacks are ramping up, which spells trouble for the Party insiders’ candidate, Katie McGinty.”

The three Democrats are competing to take on freshman Republican Senator Pat Toomey.

UPDATE: Mike Mikus of the McGinty campaign sent the following response to PoliticsPA:

“It only makes sense that Pat Toomey’s right-wing attack machine would try to distract from Toomey’s extreme record. While Katie is focused on her plan to protect and create new jobs for Pennsylvania families, Sen. Toomey continues to play reckless political games, this week by voting to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood. ”

26 Responses

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  2. Both Sestak and Fetterman are far more qualified than McGinty. But in 2016 the Democrats would rather back a a novice because of her genitalia than a man with a resume.

    And by the way, the use of trackers is certainly not exclusive to Republicans. Sestak had a guy following Toomey with a camera and a big WALL STREET sign everywhere he went back in 2010.

  3. BTW,

    For those who have not yet figured it out exactly yet, there’s a strong probability that FYI is indeed a prominent once and future McGinty staffer. All one has to do is see how closely the pattern of posts track with those from his past campaigns. It’s as if there’s a real template being used across the election cycles. However, given his record over the past few cycles, no one should really take him seriously.

    The facts, however, are McGinty, like Wolf before her, are undeniably the establishment candidates. They both sought, and received, establishment support. Nothing more need be said on that matter.

    As far as party dividers are concerned, it is curious that the establishment would line up behind a candidate who came in a dismal fourth in a four way gubernatorial primary last year while they have another candidate who five years ago came within a couple points of defeating the actual target next year, and, I might add, bested the other statewide Democratic candidate that year by ten points.

    One can only surmise that their disdain of Sestak, and desire to have a willing puppet, trumps their desire to beat Toomey. Again, they’ve convinced themselves that it was their marching in lockstep towards Wolf last year which was the deciding factor and assume that they can dust off that template again for next year.

    Of course, one only has to look at Democratic performance in just about every other state, as well as in down ballot races in the Commonwealth last year, to know that Wolf’s victory was merely one of particular situation. Hatred of Corbett trumped hatred of Obama. As such, the unoriginality of the establishment does not bode well for next year.

    Then again, as Mel Brooks character said in “Blazing Saddles”, maybe it’s just a matter of “Protecting Our Phoney Baloney Jobs”.

  4. Observer#2
    Thank you for pointing out FYI’s admission of who the real “dividers” are. Especially note, these are politicians who have no true loyalty to any party. Their only true loyalty is to money. Democrats need to start recruiting & supporting candidates representing the Democratic Party’s values.

  5. I’m not one to defend Toomey, but Toomey has made it clear that he does not want to shut the govt down. More lies from the McGinty campaign. The over the top rhetoric and point scoring from politicians is really tiresome.

  6. To FYI:
    You can’t argue my points, so I see you have to resort to infantile ad hominem attacks. FYI, I am actually a senior citizen, retired, and work for no one. (You’re guessing my gender)! HOWEVER, I do enjoy riling up people like you. Now, back to your boss…out of her league and should have started running for a lower office and earned her way up and she should NOT have agreed to be a puppet for others. If I may ask, what DO you do, if you are not employed by the campaign, as you claim. I’m sure I’ll get an honest answer.

  7. You’re a frustrated little man. Don’t worry it will all be okay. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean that they work someone. I know you’re frustrated bc Sestak pays you below minimum wage and he’s losing the primary, but soon his failed campaign will be over and you can get a job somewhere else. Hang in there! 🙂

  8. To FYI:
    Thank you, you just made my case!! Groan, etc, ARE the “establishment.” And, you say Rendell and Brady would direct money to Toomey, a Republican! I believe you, but thanks again, you made the case for who the real DIVIDERS of the party are—-and, it is because of petty establishment “leaders” like these that there is a split in the party. As for debates, watch out that your boss doesn’t wave her arms so much that she knocks over one of the other candidates or her microphone! Did you ever see her speak: Arms flailing about as if suspended from a puppeteer! She is out of her league and in over her head. Toomey will have a field day with McG. Sestak wins v. Toomey.

  9. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA “this time he will defeat Toomey”

    What a joke.

    Sestak has divided the party more than ANYONE. Frankly, he is hated by a lot of people. He won’t win the nomination. DSC will most likely endorse McGinty or open primary. There are already tons of DSC votes in McGinty column. Marcel Groen is behind McGinty as is Governor Wolf, Ed Rendell, Bob Brady’s Philly Dems and Nancy Mill’s Allegheny Dems. If by some miracle Sestak won the primary, he would be destroyed in the general. Democrats wouldn’t support him in the general. DSCC would write off PA and spend money elsewhere like Wisconsin and Ohio. Rendell and Brady would direct Comcast money to Toomey. But like I said he won’t win the nomination. I cannot wait for the first debate!! Pennsylvanian’s see Sestak for who he really is, a phony narcissist from Virginia only out to advance his own career.

    Guarantee Sestak will never be a United States Senator, at least not from Pennsylvania.

  10. To FYI:
    Rendell, Wolf and a few elites at the “top” constitute our “establishment” here in PA. Enough said. As I speculated previously, you spend enormous amounts of time defending the indefensible McG—the puppet of the establishment—that’s why I think you are on her team! In any case, I’ll stick with the independence of Joe Sestak. He doesn’t play games and this time he will defeat Toomey, after beating your establishment candidate. And, please separate the elites above mentioned from the good, hard-working rank and file Dems in the state party. My contacts tell me McG is not very popular with most of the “regulars” who are the backbone of the state party. I see a lot of broken arms, by the way, in the list of supporters McG touts—wonder who worked these folks over??

  11. FYI-

    Our non-establishment governor? That was kind of true when he first entered the primary, but connections with the previous Dem governor, Rendell, and the DCCC, and the new State chairman, pretty much make Wolf and McGinty “establishment”.

    You are correct that Sestak is an establishment candidate (who is only on the outs because he jumped the gun and abandoned his congressional seat to screw up the 2010 elections, and has proven to put himself, rather than ideals, ahead of the party).

    I don’t question Katie’s qualifications for the job, but let’s not pretend that she isn’t the establishment candidate.

    Here’s what we can expect from each candidate, if elected:
    McGinty will vote with the majority of the Senate Dems

    Sestak will vote against the majority of Dems to side with the GOP on hawkish matters. He’s the odds-on-favorite to sell out and switch registration to Republican for a prominent committee position, since he’s only interested in serving one term and never facing the voters again.

    Fetterman will vote against the majority of the Dems, when the Dems and GOP are supporting Wall Street over Main Street (ie, his voting will be more like Warren or Sanders defying the status quo).

  12. Having support from local and statewide party activists and leaders, elected officials including rural and urban mayors, support from our non-establishment Governor, labor unions and its members and organizations doesn’t make you an “establishment” candidate. It makes you a candidate who has broad support across the base and state. And it makes you the leading contender. It also means you have access to fundraise and get your message out to voters, which is needed to defeat Toomey and the Republicans. Katie McGinty is a unifying candidate and Pennsylvanians are rallying around her because she’s not a career politician. Pennsylvanian’s know that Senator McGinty will be their voice in Washington. She’s an accomplished, educated woman who in my opinion is the most qualified senatorial candidate we’ve ever had in Pennsylvania.

    Joe Sestak is the ultimate Washington insider and typical establishment candidate who doesn’t actually live in Pennsylvania by the way. He is a former Congressman who already served in Washington. Sestak is part of the problem, not the solution.

  13. FYI,

    What does that have to do with who the establishment candidate is or your own inconsistency? You’re just confirming that she is the candidate of the establishment. Best to follow your own advise first.

  14. Ben Smith-

    A poll taken before Fetterman entered the race is now meaningless. It will probably take a few months for people to even pay enough attention to this race to have a meaningful poll.

    Until the candidates hit their stride, build their teams and finish the year end fundraising, the race hasn’t even really started. The PA Society event in NYC is the first kickoff.
    It will be interesting to see how the DeBlasio connection pays off there.

    I agree that McGinty is the “one to beat” for the nomination, given her establishment support.
    Sestak is a fake anti-establishment candidate, because the only objections he’s ever had were “working with other candidates for the good of the ticket” and “whining because they picked another candidate (the incumbent) after Sestak turned down their offer to be the establishment candidate”.

    Fetterman has a legitimate claim to the anti-establishment mantle. But, it’s an uphill climb.

    The GOP wants a Dem primary, and stirring up divisions. This won’t help if the Dems make their focus on attacking Toomey, and emphasizing who can do the best job replacing Toomey.

  15. Apparently you’re new to politics. Look at polls from this time in the gov primary race, which would have been October 2013. Don’t be a fool.

    Katie is going to have broad support across the commonwealth, plus the fundraising to show for it. Come April she’ll easily defeat her primary opponents.

    Some advice for your next post: Think.

  16. Wait FYI,

    First you say that Sestak is the “Establishment” candidate, then you cite the fact that McGinty is the one backed by the establishment. So, which is it?

  17. I find it funny that Katie’s handlers don’t allow her speak for herself. How are voters supposed to trust her when her own campaign staff doesn’t trust her?

  18. @FYI
    I didn’t hear the mayor attacking anyone. I heard him stating facts.

    Is this the same Katie McGinty who got 7% of the vote in the Gov primary, or is there another Katie McGinty with integrity and accomplishments that actually connects with voters?

  19. Not a surprise to see Fetterman and Sestak attacking the frontrunner McGinty. I’m sure this will backfire just like it did for McCord when he attacked Wolf.

    Sestak is a typical Washington politician and insider. If anyone is an establishment candidate, it’s Sestak. He was a former Congressman for crying out loud. Sestak is part of the problem in Washington. He is not the solution.

    It’s no wonder Democratic activists, local and statewide elected officials, party leaders, labor unions and organizations are rallying around the only Democrat who can defeat Pat Toomey and the Republican money machine: Katie McGinty!

  20. I don’t understand. Is this right wing outfit criticizing Fetterman for telling the truth?

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