Pennsylvania attorney general Josh Shapiro (D) was invited on MSNBC to malign his gubernatorial opposition, state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R) for alleged ties to “anti-semites” and “alt-right extremists” without a challenge to the fact that his own campaign paid hundreds of thousands in support of the MAGA candidate.
Shapiro joined MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace on “Deadline: White House” Friday for a corporate media-backed hit job that tried to draw a connection between social media user comments from “supporters” of the Republican candidate to his own beliefs. After drawing attention to a piece from HuffPost that touted Twitter alternative Gab’s CEO Andrew Torba’s endorsement of Mastriano, Wallace cued the AG to open his rant.
“There really doesn’t feel like there’s a bottom right now,” Shapiro began. “You’ve also connected the dots time and time again, Nicolle, between extremism and those who are leading the modern-day Republican Party, and Doug Mastriano is exhibit A of that.”
“Let’s break down what he’s doing here in his campaign for Pennsylvania governor. He paid thousands of dollars for anti-semitic, racist, alt-right extremists to be a part of his campaign for governor,” the Democrat alleged, referring to a $5,000 “campaign consulting” fee to Gab that originated from the campaign to elect Doug Mastriano.
“He is the only politician in America, state or federal, paying for followers on this website, on Gab, which is obviously known as a haven for white supremacists,” Shapiro alleged. “These are the people that Doug Mastriano is making part of his campaign for governor of Pennsylvania.
Wallace herself suggested “it speaks to a sickness in the Republican Party” as she led Shapiro further into his slanderous claims against the state senator who would go on to read anti-semitic posts from people supposedly supporting Mastriano’s campaign. But, as they slammed Mastriano as in the least an associate of hateful people and at the worst a bigot, never once did Wallace call into question the fact that Shapiro funded ads that appeared to support Mastriano’s primary race.
According to Politico, Shapiro’s campaign spent more than $840,000 on an ad ahead of the Pennsylvania gubernatorial primary that described Mastriano as “one of Donald Trump’s strongest supporters.” The Republican would later quip that he’d have to send Shapiro a thank you card.
Lots of abortion-focused political ads hitting the airwaves this week. Here's Dem state Attorney General Josh Shapiro's new ad hitting GOP state Sen. Doug Mastriano – they're both running for Pennsylvania governor. pic.twitter.com/FU1VaSMcQy
— Stephanie Murray (@stephanie_murr) May 5, 2022
“If Doug Mastriano wins, it’s a win for what Donald Trump stands for,” the ad went on to say after highlighting the state senator’s record on the Pennsylvania heartbeat bill and his opposition to mail-in voting.
Mastriano had spent less than $370,000 on television ads ahead of his primary victory over his closest challenger former Rep. Lou Barletta, and Shapiro’s “attack ad” was described as a boost. In May, CNN’s Dana bash had asked the Democrat if it was “irresponsible” to support Mastriano like that “because you think you can beat him.”
To that Shapiro had replied, “What we did was start the general election campaign and demonstrate the clear contrast, the stark differences between he and I.”
“We do have a cancer in our politics today,” the AG stated to Wallace apparently with no intended irony, “particularly those leading the modern day Republican party. What we need to do is defeat it. And the way we do that is to defeat them at the polls. That’s why I’m working as hard as I am to beat Doug Mastriano.”
It remains to be seen if Shapiro’s efforts will pay off once again for his Republican opposition, but recent polls have shown the AG with a slight edge ahead of Mastriano within the margin of error.
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