President Joe Biden’s recent visit to the region doesn’t mean anything new for Pennsylvanians. Today, we are still being slammed by record inflation, sky-high gas prices, violent crime and drugs in our communities, and misguided Washington policies that continue to hurt Main Street Pennsylvania.
John Fetterman decided against campaigning with President Biden, which means one of three things: He doesn’t want to appear with one of the least popular presidents in decades, he believes he can campaign from his basement so he doesn’t have to talk to voters about his radical liberal policies like releasing one-third of the prison population, or he’s lying about his ability to campaign.
The liberal media won’t put pressure on Fetterman to debate, which is a rite of passage to becoming a U.S. senator, and they refuse to question why he isn’t campaigning. We witnessed it with Biden’s 2020 basement campaign and John Fetterman is using the same campaign playbook. Fetterman ignored minority communities during the primary and continues to avoid having to publicly explain his far-left policies to voters.
If either Joe Biden or John Fetterman had seen, firsthand, how their radical agenda drives prices for gas and groceries through the roof, puts criminals over our communities, harms student achievement in our schools, and promotes sanctuary cities for dangerous illegal immigrants, they would realize that our communities are truly suffering under their disastrous policies.
In recent years, radical policies like defunding the police and cashless bail – coupled with soft-on-crime district attorneys who are handing out weak sentences – have dismantled decades of progress in cities across America. For example, in previously safe neighborhoods of Philadelphia – like West Philly where I once lived as a University of Pennsylvania medical student – residents are experiencing year after year of tragic milestones of record violent crime and an alarming decline in police morale.
Unfortunately, we have been experiencing these alarming trends in communities large and small, and oftentimes in places where elected officials promote policies that fly in the face of community safety and the rule of law. Look no further than the small town of Braddock, Pa., where my opponent John Fetterman served as the mayor between 2006 and 2018. During that time, John Fetterman oversaw a dramatic surge in crime as well as a noticeable population decline in the borough. Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows violent crime, specifically, began spiking between 2013 and 2018.
In 2017, violent crime peaked in Braddock as the number of reports to local police quadrupled compared to 2006. And, in 2019, the first year after John Fetterman left office, Braddock’s crime rate dropped by 61 percent – even as a recent report indicates, Pennsylvania was beginning to experience the fastest rising crime rate – up 27 percent – of all the northeast states from 2019 to 2020.
It’s no wonder why the Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police endorsed me unanimously over my opponent. John Fetterman has publicly advocated for the release of one-third of Pennsylvania’s inmate population, defunding the police, lowering bail for violent criminals, and lighter sentences for convicted murderers. As Chair of the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, John Fetterman has reportedly used his position to bully others, set loose more than 8,000 inmates, and even pardon convicted first-degree murderers who are now back on our streets.
John Fetterman has also been a crusader for decriminalizing all drugs, including deadly heroin and fentanyl coming from Mexico and China. Coupled with Democrats’ open-border policies, these actions would amount to a total surrender to the dangerous cartels that traffic illicit drugs, weapons, and helpless young women across our borders.
The disastrous Biden-Fetterman agenda for open borders is fueling the epidemic of drug abuse across America by allowing deadly fentanyl to flood into our communities – with Pennsylvania paying one of the gravest prices of all. In 2021, Pennsylvania was third only to California and Florida in drug overdoses with an estimated 5,360 people having lost their lives due to drug overdose. This loss of life is a tragedy for our communities, our commonwealth, and our nation because we need the contributions of every citizen to fully thrive.
Over the past few years, the increasingly radical policies pushed by liberal leaders like Joe Biden and John Fetterman at the local, state, and federal levels have set back communities across Pennsylvania by a generation or more. Too many diverse and hard-working communities full of potential have been ruined by out-of-touch radicals who don’t know the first thing about running a business or the basic functions of government.
I hear these concerns and frustrations every day on the campaign trail from voters across the Commonwealth – like during my recent walks through downtown Conshohocken where I spoke with small business owners and community leaders. I dare John Fetterman and Joe Biden to do the same. If they did, they just might see who it is that their far-left policies are failing.