Pennsylvania AG rips GOP rival Mastriano over ‘dangerous’ rhetoric of big lies
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) ripped his GOP rival Sen. Doug Mastriano (R) in the Commonwealth gubernatorial race on Sunday over his “dangerous” and “divisive” rhetoric.
During an appearance on CNN, Shapiro took aim at Mastriano’s nudge for former President Trump’s big lie of a ‘stolen’ presidential election in 2020. Shapiro described his rival as a governor who would take Pennsylvania in a “dark and divisive place,” citing Mastriano’s support for an ultimately unsuccessful Trumpian plot to illegally seize voting machines.
“It’s very dangerous because here in Pennsylvania the next governor will appoint the secretary of state,” Shapiro said. “And the governor, and the governor alone, appoints the electors according to the will of the people. And Senator Mastriano has made it clear that he will appoint voters based on his belief system.
Shapiro reiterated his disdain for Mastriano’s “dangerous” penchant for the big lie, warning that democracy is in jeopardy if his GOP rival is elected governor of the Commonwealth.
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“Listen, he’s basically saying, sure, you can go vote, but I’ll pick the winner — it’s incredibly dangerous,” Shapiro said. “And that’s what’s at stake in this governor’s race.”
Shapiro also pointed to Mastriano’s “extreme” and “dangerous” stance on abortion rights in addition to his participation in the “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded last year’s deadly Capitol insurgency.
“When the police told him to stop at the barricades, he kept walking. This is someone who not only wants to overturn the last election, but has made it clear that he will pick the winner of the next one,” Shapiro said. “He wants to make same-sex marriage illegal in Pennsylvania. He thinks climate change is wrong. He is a hazard. This contrast could not be clearer.
Shapiro’s remarks come days after The Washington Post reported on Mastriano’s 2001 master’s thesis as a major at the Air Force’s Air Command and Staff College that described his far-right view of the “coup civilian” that would arise if the military did not fight “political correctness” to protect conservative ideology.
Mastriano’s master’s thesis appeared to provide insight into his efforts to fuel last year’s insurgency after months of Big Lie reinforcement.
Mastriano continued to support Trump’s election theft scheme long after the insurgency, which included his unsuccessful push for a ‘forensic investigation’ into his home state’s 2020 election results as well as the MAGA audit. unsuccessful 2020 results from Maricopa County, Arizona by conspiracy theorist-led tech company Cyber Ninjas.
In February, Mastriano was subpoenaed to appear alongside Kelli Ward, former Arizona state senator and chairman of the state’s Republican party, and Mark Finchem, Arizona state representative and current candidate for Secretary of State from Arizona, for their alleged involvement in a scheme to send fake voters lists to Congress after the 2020 election.
Watch Shapiro’s remarks below: