inside sources print logo
Get up to date Delaware Valley news in your inbox

Assassination Attempt Slows Dem Push to Dump Biden; That’s Bad News for Casey

GOP U.S. Senate candidate Dave McCormick is campaigning hard on the fact that his opponent, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, supports another term for President Joe Biden.

While Casey’s position isn’t popular — a huge majority of Keystone State voters believe Biden is too old — it appeared the three-term Democrat might get a reprieve. Prominent Democrats like former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been working behind the scenes to push Biden out, which would let Casey off the hook.

A chorus of  Democrats and donors have called for Biden to bow out of the presidential race, fearing a Trump victory. Vermont Sen. Peter Welch was the first senator to ask Biden to withdraw for the “good of the country.” At least 20 House Democrats have called for Biden to drop out of the 2024 race.

That all changed Saturday when an assassin’s bullet narrowly missed former President Donald Trump. The Republican nominee survived, but it appears any hopes of getting Biden off the ticket didn’t.

“Everything is on pause for the moment given the gravity of the moment in time we’re in,” said Jeff Jubelirer, vice president with Bellevue Communications. “I haven’t heard any new Democrats saying anything about Biden since Saturday. It seems like this will remain on pause for at least the short term. However, I don’t know if this will change the overall calculus that many Democrats want Biden to drop out for a new candidate. I suspect the grave attack won’t change their positions.”

Jubelirer is right regarding the political math. A New York Times/Siena College poll released Monday found Biden losing Pennsylvania to Trump 48 to 45 percent. Worse, campaign professionals say, is the fact that around 60 percent of Keystone State Democrats say Biden it too old. And Democrats are split on keeping Biden on the ticket, with 48 percent sticking with Biden and 46 percent wanting him gone.

But Democrats like Casey and his colleague, Sen. John Fetterman, are backing Biden. “I refuse to join the Democratic vultures on Biden’s shoulder after the debate. No one knows more than me that a rough debate is not the sum total of the person and their record,” Fetterman said.

And it appears the national party is falling in line, too. Former Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile told The New York Times that after Biden’s debate fiasco, “it’s been hysteria on steroids. But now Biden’s not going anywhere.

“If he is not going to buckle under the weight of what has happened over the last two and a half weeks, I don’t know why anyone else should,” she said.

Republicans are delighted. They see Biden as a weak candidate, and Casey’s embrace of a candidate most voters believe is clearly unfit to serve.

McCormick has billboards around Pennsylvania that say “Same Old, Tired Ideas” with pictures of Casey and Biden. They went up last week in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Scranton, and Bloomsburg. Casey and Biden are both from Scranton, while McCormick grew up in Bloomsburg.

McCormick’s campaign launched a digital ad after the June 27 debate titled “Bob Casey Knew,” a reference to the fact that, due to his relationship with Biden and the White House, Casey had to be aware of Biden’s declining cognitive skills.

“There’s nobody in the Senate closer to Joe Biden than Bob Casey,” McCormick told DVJournal. “As a veteran, I’m worried about Biden’s ability to keep our troops safe. How can Casey, one of Biden’s closest friends in Washington, continue to ignore what’s at risk with a weak commander-in-chief? The commonwealth deserves better than their failed leadership and tired, old ideas.”

Why won’t Casey, caught in a tough re-election campaign in a state Biden is losing, cut the president loose?

“The relationship that Sen. Casey and the president enjoy transcends politics,” says longtime Democratic strategist TJ Rooney. “The president has enjoyed exceptionally close relationships with both Sen. Casey and Gov. Casey [Sen. Casey’s father]. Bob Casey is a faithful servant who believes his word is his bond. I don’t see his support for President Biden changing anytime soon.”

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or Facebook.com/DelawareValleyJournal

Assassination Attempt on Trump at PA Rally Sparks Strong Reaction From State Pols

A gunman tried to assassinate former President Donald Trump at a rally in western Pennsylvania on Saturday evening, apparently grazing his ear and setting off a wave of reaction from Keystone State politicians.

At least one person attending the Butler, Pa. campaign rally was killed, as was the shooter. Trump posted on social media that he was OK.

“I was shot with a bullet that pierced the upper part of my right ear. I knew immediately that something was wrong in that I heard a whizzing sound, shots, and immediately felt the bullet ripping through the skin. Much bleeding took place, so I realized then what was happening. GOD BLESS AMERICA!”

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dave McCormick was at the rally preparing to go onstage when the shots were fired. He told Fox News the scene was “very chaotic” and estimated the crowd at 15,000 people.

 

 

“The crowd just sort of, you know, went to the ground, and the Secret Service came and very quickly tackled the president.”

McCormick was uncertain which direction the shots came from or whether there was more than one weapon.

“Sadly, someone behind me up in the bleachers was definitely wounded. And there was a lot of blood. The police came in and helped carry that person out of the stands so they could get the care they needed.”

“I was sitting to President Trump’s right as he was facing the crowd,” said McCormick, an Army combat veteran. “And I was in the front row. I felt like some of the shots came from the left side.”

“There were seven or eight shots,” he said.

Asked if Trump was lucky to be alive, McCormick said, “Yeah, absolutely. I think so.”

A photo released after the shooting showing a bullet narrowly missing Trump’s head appears to back up McCormick’s view.

“It was a very scary moment,” he added.

Pennsylvania’s Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro, who’s been mentioned as a potential fill in if President Joe Biden drops out of the race, posted a statement on social media.

“Violence targeted at any political party or political leader is absolutely unacceptable. It has no place in Pennsylvania or the United States. I have been briefed on the situation. Pennsylvania state police are on the scene in Butler County and working with our federal and local partners.”

Many Pennsylvanians reacted with shock and concern.

State Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland) said, “The resilience of America must overcome any gutless acts of violence. Praying for President Trump, his family, and any innocent victims and their families who may have been harmed by this senseless act. Thank you to the Secret Service, law enforcement, and emergency responders who assisted in keeping things safe and calm. God Bless America.”

U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) said on X, “Praying for President Trump, his family, all in attendance at the rally, and our country. Political violence has no justification or any place in America—against anyone, for any reason, at any time. We will find this person/people, and we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”

Also on X, Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester) said on X, “I’m heartened to hear that it appears the former President is safe after today’s attack in PA. I want to thank the Secret Service for their quick and decisive actions. There is still a great deal that we don’t know, but what we all do know is that there is no place for violence.”

Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.), also on X, said, “I am monitoring the situation at President Trump’s rally in Butler, and I’ve reached out to the State Police to offer support. Political violence is never acceptable, and I am hoping former president Trump & all attendees are safe. Everyone in Butler should listen to law enforcement.”

David Winkler, the Republican running against Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery), said, “I pray for President Trump’s safety & wellbeing, & I also pray for America as a whole. We will rise up a stronger and more united than ever. My opponent, Madeleine Dean, is complicit with her divisive rhetoric. We need to elect leaders who will chill the divisions & unify our country.” Dean reposted Shapiro’s quote on X.

“This is a somber day for our nation. My prayers are with President Trump and any other families that have been affected. I’m thankful for the swift and heroic response of law enforcement who undoubtedly saved countless lives today,” said Neil Young, the Republican running against Houlahan.

Alfeia Goodwin said, “As a Republican Congressional Candidate for the 5th Congressional District and a Trump47 Team Captain, I am deeply disheartened and disturbed by the violence taken against President Trump this evening in Butler, Pennsylvania. President Trump is a fighter who fights the good fight. I am praying for the safety and strength of him and his family.”

Goodwin’s opponent, U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Delaware), had not released a statement by press time.

Ashley Ehasz, the Democrat who is running against Fitzpatrick, said on X, “As a veteran who has seen the impact of political violence, I unequivocally condemn today’s violence against former president Donald Trump. I call for those responsible to be held accountable swiftly and wish for a full recovery for those injured. Violence is never the answer.”

Trump’s campaign manager, Chris LaCivita, said on X, “Well, of course, they tried to keep him off the ballot, they tried to put him in jail, and now you see this.”

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or Facebook.com/DelawareValleyJournal

 

Biden Visits Philly Black Church to Boost Struggling Campaign

Calls of “We love you, President Biden,” filled Mount Airy Church of God in Christ in Philadelphia as the president made a campaign swing to Pennsylvania on Sunday.

Some Democrats called for Biden to bow out of the race in the wake of a disastrous performance in the debate against former President Donald Trump last month. However, on July 7, Biden visited a Black church in Philadelphia hoping to showcase his continued strength among African American voters.

Biden, who lived in Scranton before moving to Delaware when he was 10, considers Pennsylvania his second home and has come to Philadelphia often, including eight visits this year.

Biden was supposed to speak at the National Education Association annual conference in Philadelphia on Sunday. But Biden’s campaign cancelled that event after the NEA’s own unionized employees filed unfair labor practices complaints over how the teachers union treats its own employees. Biden would have had to cross a picket line, so the campaign sent him to a friendlier forum.

The 538 poll average on July 7 showed Trump leads Biden by 3.2 points in Pennsylvania despite all those visits.

Biden thanked the pastor, Bishop J. Louis Felton, and the congregation for welcoming him.

“It’s good to be home,” said Biden. “I got my start as a public defender in the civil rights movement.”

“Our purpose is to serve others,” Biden said. “That’s our purpose. To know everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect, to know faith without works is dead. We’re all called to be doers of the world.”

“In this nation, that means keeping our eyes on the north star, the very idea of America,” Biden said. “We’re all created equal in the image of God. And deserve to be created with dignity and respect our entire lives. We’ve never fully lived up to that. But we’ve never fully walked away from it either. That’s because of you and generations before you who led the church from slavery to freedom.”

Biden mentioned his accomplishments in dealing with the pandemic, having the lowest Black unemployment, and his plans to “make housing affordable.”

Along with ensuring “you can follow your dreams without the burden of student debt.”

“To keep our communities safe by getting weapons of war off our streets,” he said. “To give hate no safe harbor.  While there are those who want to erase history, Kamala and I want to make it. Black history is American history.”

“I’ve been doing this a long time, honest to God I’m never more optimistic about America’s future if we stick together,” he said. “We must unite America again. That’s my goal. And may God bless our troops,” he said.

Some Democratic politicians, including Sen. Bob Casey Jr., Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, and Congresswoman Madeleine Dean, attended the church service as well. Dean travelled with Biden on both of his Pennsylvania stops Sunday, as did one of the president’s most loyal supporters, U.S. Sen. John Fetterman.

“There is only one person in the country that’s ever kicked Trump’s ass in an election —and that is your president,” Fetterman said. “He’s going to do it twice.”

Kenyatta, who is running for auditor general, said, “Joe Biden has delivered for Pennsylvania. Now we have to deliver for him and Democrats up and down the ballot to beat back the radical Project 2025 agenda of Donald Trump and Republicans.”

“Yesterday, Joe Biden couldn’t even be bothered to shake the hand of a Black supporter in the crowd, but today he’s continuing his minority pandering tour in Pennsylvania where his approval rating has dropped to 33 percent.  Clearly, Black voters are no longer buying the desperate and disingenuous faux outreach from Democrats,” said Janiyah Thomas,  director of Team Trump Black Media.

Republican Dave McCormick, an Army veteran running against Casey, said on X, “Today, Bob Casey is campaigning with President Biden in PA. Biden is not capable of serving as our Commander-in-Chief, and Casey knows it — he will lie all the way thru Election Day if he thinks it will help him win.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Whatley said, “Joe Biden only has 33 percent approval in the Keystone State because his policies have failed Pennsylvania families. From crippling inflation and housing prices that are making life unaffordable to police shortages and deadly fentanyl that are making communities less safe, it’s no wonder why Pennsylvania voters are lining up to Make America Great Again by supporting President Trump.”

“Short visits in front of overwhelmingly friendly groups are not going to alleviate the concerns the American people have about Biden’s ability to do the job – let alone run for another term,” said Christian Nascimento, chair of the Montgomery County GOP.

Casey was also with Biden to an ice social rally near Harrisburg later Sunday. His campaign did not respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or Facebook.com/DelawareValleyJournal

 

Senate Candidate Dave McCormick Discusses Policies to Help Families

Senate candidate Dave McCormick called for a ban on access to social media for kids under 16.

“A study from the Centers for Disease Control last year found that 20 percent, one-fifth of 12 17-year-old kids have at least one major depressive episode,” McCormick said.  “Researchers such as Jonathan Haidt have documented how addictive using social media is. It’s a major driver of mental health crises.”

McCormick spoke at an America’s Future Tour event in Springfield hosted by Delaware County GOP Chair Frank Agovino. Fox News journalist Mary Katharine Ham, interviewed McCormick.

McCormick supports a federal school choice bill, the Educational Choice for Children Act. This would create a federal tax credit for businesses and citizens that provide money for scholarships for children in failing schools to move to better schools.

“Sen. Casey won’t support this legislation. He’s against giving kids in failing schools the ability to move to the school of their choice. And that’s because Sen. Casey is beholden to the same teachers’ unions that kept our kids out of the classroom for years during COVID,” said McCormick.

Dave McCormick

“Here’s what really made me angry. Sen. Casey went to parochial school. Yet he opposes giving his constituents in failing public schools the same opportunity. Pennsylvania deserves a senator who supports school choice because choosing where your child goes to school should not be a privilege that’s only reserved for the wealthy and well-connected parents.”

“We need to shake things up in a big way,” he said.  The tax money should go with the child. “The beauty of that is it will increase competition…It’s going to be disruptive as hell, and it needs to be.”

In a wide-ranging policy talk, McCormick spoke about helping families at all stages of people’s lives, from subsidies for faith-based childcare, better access to healthcare for mothers and senior citizens, and more mental health care for veterans.

“Only 33 percent of Black children and 55 percent of Hispanic children grow up in two-parent families,” he said. “Kids in a single-parent home are five times more likely to live in poverty, more likely to have behavior issues, more likely to drop out of school.”

This is “leaving the American Dream out of reach for more and more families,” he said.  “Children who are born to parents in the bottom fifth of family incomes have a 46 percent chance of remaining in the bottom fifth their whole lives and only a 3 percent chance of getting to the top fifth.”

“And Americans are even having fewer babies despite surveys showing that women wish they could have more. America cannot be strong if our families are weak.  And if our families are in decline, America will decline.  And we can’t let that happen.”

“For far too long, career politicians in Washington have made it harder, not easier, for working families in Pennsylvania,” he said. “Inflation is driving up grocery bills, the cost of housing, and other essentials. Childcare. It’s gotten so expensive it’s out of reach for many families.”

Mary Katharine Ham

“Under the watch of President Biden and Pennsylvania’s liberal Sen. Bob Casey, these problems are getting worse, not better. After 18 years in Washinton, Sen. Casey has not been a proactive leader. He’s been a rubber stamp liberal who votes with President Biden 98 percent of the time.”

McCormick wants to make it easier for couples to start families.

He said the average cost of having a child is $19,000, including $3,000 out of pocket.  The average middle-class family spends $13,000 in a child’s first year.

“We need to make contraceptives more accessible and affordable for women so they can have children when they’re ready,” said McCormick. “I’ll always support access to in vitro fertilization to enable parents across our country to welcome children.”

When he was the CEO of Bridgewater, the company helped pay for fertility services for employees.  “As your senator, I will oppose any effort to restrict IVF. Period,” said McCormick.

“Every family should get a $15,000 tax credit for fertility expenses, like IVF,” McCormick said.  He would also promote adoption services, making the adoption tax credit created by the Trump tax plan fully refundable.

“It’s unacceptable that the United States has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world among wealthy nations,” he said. “The U.S. birth rate is also at a historic low. 1.6 children per woman. Far below the 2.1 average needed to keep our population in the U.S. from declining.”

“In Pennsylvania, at least five counties have no hospitals,” said McCormick, so women there lack easy access to maternity care.

Far too many Americans with severe mental health crises are not able to get the care they need,” he said. “Fourteen million Americans, approximately, have serious mental illnesses. More than half of them have their needs unmet, veterans in particular, something near and dear to my heart, as a veteran,” said McCormick. Some “22 vets a day take their own lives…Half of the veterans who commit suicide had no mental health treatment. We must expand mental health care for those with serious mental illness by getting rid of Medicaid rules that constrain access to psychiatric (help).”

“We need to support our seniors in retirement,” he said. “Let me be perfectly clear: our government needs to keep its promises to protect Social Security and Medicare.”

“I’ll always put problem-solving over ideology,” he said.

Asked about the additional doctors needed to expand healthcare, McCormick told DVJournal that more doctors and nurses are necessary.

“The nurse shortage, in particular, is really problematic,” he said. “So, it’s part of a skilled worker program to allow people to access healthcare education and encourage them to do it.

“And it’s unbelievable when you look at how long it takes to become a doctor and how hard it is to make ends meet. And they have hundreds of thousands of dollars of loans. So, we’re going to have to support people if they want to become medical professionals and support their education,” said McCormick.

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or Facebook.com/DelawareValleyJournal

 

Trump Touts McCormick, Courts Black Voters at Philadelphia Rally

There was a bit of a bromance between former President Donald Trump and Senate candidate Dave McCormick at Trump’s rally in Philadelphia on Saturday.

Trump endorsed McCormick as “a warrior, a great military person, an incredible guy. And we have to elect him as the U.S. senator from your state. And just so you know, Dave McCormick is a seventh-generation Pennsylvanian who grew up in Bloomsburg, went to West Point, did great there and earned a Bronze Star for his service.”

“Dave went on to an outstanding career in business and now is fighting for the people of this commonwealth. He loves this commonwealth. He really is a high-quality person. I actually said, ‘Dave, are you too high quality for this job?’”

“But I’d rather have that than the other. And honestly, the other senator has been here forever…I don’t think I ever met him in my years in Washington. He doesn’t do anything,” Trump said. “Dave will vote to secure your borders, stand up to China, and unleash incredible amounts of Pennsylvania energy. And he wants to stop Biden inflation.”

Philadelphia fans welcome former President Donald Trump.

Trump also bashed McCormick’s opponent, Democratic incumbent Sen. Bob Casey Jr.

Trump added, “Bob Casey votes with Sleepy Joe 98 percent (of the time). Bob Casey could have voted to stop Joe Biden’s invasion; instead, he voted in favor of sanctuary cities. He voted to give illegal aliens taxpayer-funded benefits. He voted against the border wall… Pennsylvania, you need to defeat open borders Bob Casey.”

On the stump in the swing state that many political observers believe could determine the outcome of the presidential race, Trump hit two issues hard: illegal immigration and the economy.

Trump recounted recent news stories of attacks by illegal immigrants, like a 13-year-old girl allegedly raped in New York City, a 12-year-old Texas girl allegedly assaulted and murdered by two illegal immigrants, and a Maryland mother of five who was allegedly raped and murdered. In every case, the alleged assailants had previously been released into the U.S. by the Biden administration.

“Joe Biden wants to be president for illegal aliens, but I will be president for law-abiding Americans,” Trump said, while promising to “tear up”  the mass amnesty executive order that Biden recently announced. Countries are opening up prisons and mental hospitals and sending inmates to America, he said.

“In Venezuela, crime is down 72 percent,” he said.

Trump also blamed Biden for inflation and said he would bring back prosperity.

“When I left office, inflation was practically nothing. During my term we had gasoline down to $1.87 a gallon. And the 30-year mortgage rate was 2.7 percent. And then Joe Biden blew it to shreds. Biden’s inflation price hikes on energy infrastructure cost the average American family an astounding $28,000.”

“You know, inflation is a disaster,” he said. “It’s a total country buster. And when you look at the prices of eggs and bacon, it’s gone up 100 percent.”

“The monthly cost of a mortgage has gone up under Crooked Joe Biden,” he said. “With me, it was around 2 percent. Now it’s 10 percent, and you can’t get the money.”

“On day one of my administration, we will throw out Bidenomics and replace it with MAGA-nomics,” he said to cheers and applause.

Former President Donald Trump with Senate candidate Dave McCormick

Trump also talked at length about the troubles plaguing Philadelphia, using them to make a pitch for support among Black voters. He specifically called out progressive District Attorney Larry Krasner, saying he has “the blood of countless men and women and children on his hands” for his soft-on-crime policies.

The Trump campaign is making inroads with Black and Hispanic voters, according to recent polling. The rally in a predominantly Black area of Philadelphia, along with endorsements from rap artists and others, is a clear attempt to attract voters who previously voted Democratic.

“The people of our country are looking for hope, whether they are White, Brown, Black or anything else. They’re looking for hope,” Trump told the crowd. “We will also work to lift up Black and Hispanic and other communities in Philadelphia and all across the United States…They’re smart. They want jobs. They want safety. They don’t want to lose their homes.”

Kristina Bowie, a Black Philadelphia resident, attended to support Trump.

“I like his policies,” she said. “I like all he’s trying to do to make America great again.” When Trump was president, “It was just better then.”

But state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia) said his constituents won’t back the former president.

“I represent the community in Philly where Trump is currently ranting and raving. I can authoritatively say my neighbors aren’t in that arena listening to his lies.”

Doylestown residents Peder Cox and Ellen Bowman Cox. Bowman Cox is leader of the Doylestown Republican Club.

When McCormick took the stage, he also focused his comments on the economy and the need for change.

“As a native of Pennsylvania, it breaks my heart that 60 percent of Pennsylvanians are living paycheck to paycheck. Prices are on the rise 20 percent,” said McCormick. “As a combat veteran, it breaks my heart that we can’t make our recruiting numbers, that our military is in decline and that 22 veterans a day kill themselves. We need new leadership.”

Trump’s appearance drew supporters from across the state.

Phoenixville resident Brooke Spinelli said, “I support Trump (for) a number of reasons. School choice. I want the economy to be where it was.” She brought her father, a gun collector who is concerned about his Second Amendment rights, to the rally.

“I think our country was in better shape when Donald Trump was running it,” said Stephanie McCoy from New Holland, in Lancaster County. “He actually cared about the American people and didn’t have our borders opened up for anyone to come in.”

And while Trump’s message in the past on early voting and mail in ballots was less than clear, he urged the Keystone State crowd to get out and vote, whether early, by mail or in person, and to volunteer “to secure our elections.”

“We don’t want them dumping ballots,” he said. “If we win Pennsylvania, we win the presidency.”

Iowa Sen. Ernst Rallies Bucks Co. Republicans for McCormick

About 100 people packed the Bucks County Republican headquarters in Doylestown on Tuesday as Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst made her pitch for GOP candidate Dave McCormick.

Her message? “I want to talk about how we can take on Washington and get the big hand of government out of the way for hardworking folks across this great country,” Ernst said.

McCormick’s race against three-term incumbent Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. (D-Pa.) is one of the most-watched in the nation. Republicans are expected to flip West Virginia, which would create a 50-50 tie in the Senate. A win in Montana, Ohio, or Pennsylvania would give the GOP a majority.

The Iowa Republican, who grew up on a hog farm and is known for sometimes using colorful language about politics, recently made headlines following a hot-mic moment. After a press conference calling out what she says are false statements from President Joe Biden regarding his new border policy, Ernst was heard saying on her way off stage, “Bottom line: Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals.”

It was a reference to Biden’s bizarre claim during a Pennsylvania appearance in April that an uncle who served as a pilot in World War II and crashed in New Guinea was eaten by the locals.

Ernst’s decision to campaign for McCormick in the Keystone State may be related to the fact she’s been mentioned as a potential Trump running mate, an idea she’s open to.

“I think there are a lot of really wonderful people who are being considered,” Ernst told Breitbart News. “And I think that anyone who is offered [the] position, whether it would be me or someone else, I think that it would be such an extreme honor to have that opportunity laid out. I certainly would consider that.”

On Wednesday, Ernst focused her comments on the need for deregulating the economy, an issue she deals with on the Senate Small Business Committee.

“The clamps of Washington, D.C., are really tightening around the necks of our small business owners (due to) over-regulation by the Biden administration.”

In the last three and a half years, “regulatory guidance is pushing on small businesses to the tune of $400 billion. That is $400 billion that small businesses have had to invest under Joe Biden” to comply with federal regulations.

“I don’t want to see this administration telling me what I have to drive,” said Ernst, about Biden’s promotion of electric vehicles. “In rural Iowa, I’m sorry, I’m not going to get to Des Moines from where I live and be able to return home on a battery charge.”

Ernst argued it is essential to elect McCormick and prevent Democratic extremists who will damage the fundamental workings of American democracy. If Democrats take the House, Senate and White House, they plan to remove the filibuster in the Senate and pack the U.S. Supreme Court “with liberal justices that will serve a lifetime,” she said.

She called McCormick “a true patriot.”

McCormick told the Bucks County crowd he struggled with the idea of running again.

“I lost a race last time by 900 votes of 1.5 million cast,” he said.  His six daughters were “100 percent against it” and he had other things to do.

“But If you believe that America is the greatest country in the world. If you believe that you’ve been blessed by what America has to offer. If believe America is in deep, deep trouble, which I do. And you believe you can actually do something about it…And if you believe those things you’ve got to do it.”

McCormick dismissed the incumbent Casey as a politician, not a leader.

“He’s been in office for 30 years. He’s been in the Senate for 18 years. He has not had a single significant piece of legislation, but he’s voted 99 percent of the time with Joe Biden,” McCormick said.

“This guy no longer represents who we are, what we need. I’m running as an outsider. Someone who doesn’t owe anybody anything except the people of Pennsylvania.”

Ernst noted she and McCormick are both veterans and she sits on the Armed Services Committee. McCormick, who grew up in Bloomsburg, went to West Point and served in the 82nd Airborne Division. She also said defense spending in real dollars fell under the Biden administration. There is also the problem of too few recruits and those serving in the military no longer have the “latest and greatest technology.”

“We have an administration and a bunch of Democrats in the Senate think domestic priorities like wildflower projects, and whatever, these green climate ideologies should outpace protecting our nation. So, it is a big problem,” said Ernst.

McCormick said, “There’s a money problem but also a cultural ethos problem. The Biden administration is focused on DEI [Diversity, Equity, Inclusion] in the military at the expense of warfighting.”

“The Army rolled out the climate fighting strategy under Biden. This is a real thing. So there’s an ethos we have to fix. And it pains me to say this as an Army man, but we really need to invest in our Navy.”

“I just wrote an article on this,” he added. “It wasn’t in my favorite, Delaware Valley Journal. And I talked about the need for the Ships Act. We need to refurbish our domestic shipbuilding industry. We need to have a Navy that can compete with China. We need to have domestic tankers that can take our natural gas around the world. And, just as an idea. I’m just spit-balling here. We may need to do that in Philadelphia and bring back our shipbuilding.”

Taking questions with members of the Bucks County audience, Ted Harrison of New Hope told McCormick abortion remains a key issue for Democrats. If Republicans want to win, they should give it up, he suggested.

McCormick called it “very polarizing.”

“It’s a state’s right,” he said. “We should embrace three exceptions: rape, incest and the life of the mother. And we should make widely available contraception.”

Another man asked about illegal immigration.

McCormick said the country should return to former President Donald Trump’s policies.

“I think this fentanyl thing is out of control,” he added. “Four thousand people in Pennsylvania last year, almost 100,000 across our country (died from fentanyl overdoses),” he said. “I would identify the cartels and name them to be terrorist organizations. I would send in our military to take out those fentanyl manufacturing facilities and destroy the cartels,” he said.

 

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or Facebook.com/DelawareValleyJournal

Jewish Student Volunteer With McCormick Campaign Attacked at Pitt Encampment

A University of Pittsburgh student who is a volunteer for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dave McCormick was attacked at an anti-Israel encampment at his university.

According to the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, Reuben Rochkind visited the encampment with friends. He was wearing his McCormick hat and brought an American flag. He was standing near a fence that the protesters had put up around their tent encampment when one of grabbed him from behind, causing him to fall to the ground.

The new anti-Israel demonstration encampment was set up on Sunday outside the Cathedral of Learning on Pitt’s campus in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood. KDKA-TV reported at least one person was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, resisting arrest, and obstruction.

McCormick told DVJournal he is both angry and concerned about the incident involving his volunteer.

“We’re so thankful Reuben is okay. Let’s be clear about what’s happening here. These efforts by pro-Hamas agitators to take over campuses and go after Jewish students are blatantly antisemitic and un-American,” McCormick said.

And he noted what he says is a key difference between himself and his opponent, three-term Senate Democrat Bob Casey Jr.

“Bob Casey has never visited one of these encampments and only called for the one at UPenn to be disbanded after the fact. Is he going to remain silent on this, too?”

McCormick, who made a high-profile visit to the encampment at Penn when antisemitic rhetoric was at its peak, also posted on X about the Pitt incident. “One of my great volunteers was attacked by pro-Hamas supporters on Pitt’s campus. He’s a Jewish student who was wearing a McCormick hat and proudly waving the American flag. This antisemitism is disgusting. Bob Casey needs to stand up and defend his Jewish constituents.”

Anti-Israel protest encampments have spread to colleges and universities nationwide, including some in the Philadelphia area, notably the University of Pennsylvania and Swarthmore College, although those have been disbanded.

Eyal Yakoby, who graduated from Penn last month, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Free Beacon about his experiences with antisemitism on campus and the administration’s lack of leadership.

“The modifications may appear small, and maybe we should shrug them off. But they marred the spirit of what should have been purely celebratory events. These are not just formalities but collective experiences that connect the present to the past, and the university leadership’s unwillingness to enforce rules and regulations deprived the law-abiding members of the class of 2024 of the opportunity to participate in shared Penn traditions,” Yakoby wrote.

Yakoby also sued the university for a refund of his tuition over his experience with antisemitism on campus.

According to Politico, the pro-Palestinian protestors who have disrupted campuses around the country are funded by some of the most prominent Democratic donors: Soros, Pritzker, and Rockefeller. The demonstrators also make similar demands, telling the universities to divest from Israel.

McCormick Defends Girls’ Sports, Confronts ‘Woke’ Education at Moms for Liberty Event

During a recent “fireside chat” with the Northhampton County chapter of Moms for Liberty, GOP U.S. Senate candidate Dave McCormick spoke as a dad about public policy issues like protecting girls-only sports and spaces in public schools.

“As the father of six daughters, this resonates with me so much. The very idea of allowing  biological males to compete with biological females is fundamentally unfair.

“It guts women’s sports,” McCormick went on. While Title IX protects girls and women’s sports and education, adding biological males “is part of a broader ideological shift.”

McCormick added that, as a parent, he’s concerned about content on topics like sex and gender being introduced to children too young to process it.

“Our schools are introducing transgender ideology to young children before they are old enough to form their own views as adults. And so I think it’s deeply troubling. It’s something that I would be completely opposed to as a senator…We need to get commonsense back.”

The Republican candidate also slammed his opponent, three-term Democrat Sen. Bob Casey Jr., for a letter Casey wrote last year claiming concerns about transgender athletes competing in college and high school sports are “overgeneralized.”

Also at the event was Betsy DeVos, who served as President Donald Trump’s secretary of education.

“This is an issue very timely because the rule the Biden administration has put forward that would extend the definition of gender to include gender identity, the downstream ramifications of that you can’t begin to really articulate all the different ways in which it would negatively impact everything in our culture which already has lots of challenges,” DeVos said.

She called the change, which is set to take effect in August, “fundamentally unfair” and urged people to contact their members of Congress to oppose this rule.

“Bob Casey had a chance to do the right thing and to vote against this,” said DeVos. “And to dismiss it and say it’s not a real problem is absolutely false.”

McCormick said decried the nation’s academic achievement gap compared to other advanced nations.

“We have lost progress and that’s while spending a trillion dollars over the last 50 years on the Department of Education,” he said.

Meanwhile, America is losing a generation to “woke” ideology.

“Just turn on the television and see those kids marching on campuses. They don’t know the difference between right and wrong, between good and evil. It’s not just antisemitism. It’s anti-Americanism. Only about a third of (college students) believe America is exceptional.”

“And my recollection of the history that I was taught is that by any measure, analytically, America has been an extraordinary success…liberating the world from the Nazis, winning the Cold War,” said McCormick. “And it’s had some dark chapters, dark chapters that we’ve overcome and we’re still overcoming. It’s imperfect. But it’s a great source of liberty and wealth for the world. That’s the history that’s unfortunately not being taught. It shows up in our recruiting numbers. It shows up on our campuses. And it’s because of, among other things, this ideology.”

McCormick, who grew up in Bloomsburg, noted that both his parents were teachers, that he went to public schools and that teachers and coaches were the most important influences on his life. A high school wrestler, he went to West Point, became an 82nd Airborne paratrooper, was a successful Pittsburgh businessman and a hedge fund CEO, before entering politics.

“If you have a generation that doesn’t really believe in American exceptionalism, who don’t understand our history, who don’t have the skills, the capabilities to take on this generation of challenges,” McCormick said.  “We are in a complicated world.  The rest of the world is not standing idle.  They’re moving forward.”

One “blessing” of COVID was that parents saw what their schools were teaching their kids and got more involved, he said. McCormick supports school choice.

“That opportunity will create better educational outcomes, that competition will create better opportunity, that competition will create more honesty.  That competition is the pathway to creating equal opportunity for all,” he said.

For DeVos, the big-picture problem is the power of government schools and teachers unions. “The system to which most kids are subjected to today is essentially a monopoly. Unless you have the resources to do something different, your children are headed by a monopolistic structure, and we see from the very top of it, which is the teachers’ union, the AFT and, the NEA, and all the allied organizations, have continued to influence down to the lowest level everything that has gone on in the system.”

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or Facebook.com/DelawareValleyJournal

Houlahan, Dean Back Biden on Withholding Weapons From Israel

President Joe Biden’s threat to withhold some precision offensive weapons from Israel as it wages war on the terrorist army of Hamas has been met with an angry backlash from both political parties. And that divide among Democrats is on display in Pennsylvania, where U.S. Sen. John Fetterman has decried Biden’s “disappointing” decision, while local U.S. Reps. Madeleine Dean and Chrissy Houlahan have endorsed it.

On Sunday, Biden’s Secretary of State Anthony Blinken repeated the administration’s threat, and said even more restrictions may follow if Israel pushes into the Gazan city of Rafah to wipe out what’s left of Hamas.

“If Israel launches this major military operation into Rafah, then there are certain systems that we are not going to be supporting and supplying for that operation,” Blinken told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

The backlash from supporters of Israel began on Wednesday when Biden said he had told the Israelis that going into Rafah would result in a loss of U.S. support.

“I’ve made it clear to Bibi [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] and the war cabinet: They’re not going to get our support if they go [into] these population centers,” Biden told CNN.

Pennsylvania’s Fetterman responded via social media. “Hard disagree and deeply disappointing,” he tweeted.

“I strongly disagree with this decision and it should be immediately reversed. If there are any restrictions, it should be on Hamas, its enablers, and benefactors,” he added.

Montgomery County Democratic Congresswoman Madeline Dean, on the other hand, has been calling for Biden to restrict weapons to Israel for weeks. While her spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment, Dean signed a letter urging Biden to withhold “certain offensive weaponry or other military support that can be used for an assault on Rafah, including offensive weaponry already signed into law.”

Dave Winkler, the Republican running against Dean, called her letter “despicable.”

“Withholding aid from Israel would be an unconscionable betrayal that would embolden the forces of terror and extremism hellbent on delegitimizing and annihilating the Jewish state. As a stalwart ally, the U.S. has a moral obligation to steadfastly support Israel’s ability to defend itself against the existential threats of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Hezbollah’s missile arsenals, and the indiscriminate rocket attacks on civilians by the terrorist thugs of Hamas.

Dean’s fellow Democrat, Rep. Chrissy Houlahan issued a lengthy statement saying she also agrees with Biden’s decision to withhold arms from the longtime U.S. ally.

“Recently, President Biden decided to temporarily withhold specific U.S. weapons to Israel until such time as he receives further assurances about Israel’s military operations and humanitarian considerations, specifically in Rafah. I don’t agree with every decision the president makes, but I agree with him here,” Houlahan said.

Houlahan’s GOP challenger Neil Young disagrees. “President Biden withholding arms from Israel is not only completely reckless, but it undermines American credibility on the world stage. Israel is our most trusted ally and they should not be left to stand alone. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Many Democrats, like our senator John Fetterman, have stood against Biden’s betrayal of Israel. Chrissy Houlahan’s support for this reckless policy prioritizes party allegiance over national interest. Her loyalty lies with her party, not with the American people or our allies.”

Both Houlahan and Dean are on the far-left Working Families Party list of congressional members who have demanded a ceasefire.

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) declined to respond to a request for comment from DVJournal on the topic, but he told reporters late last week he disagrees with Biden’s decision to withhold weapons. However, he’s rarely mentioned the issue while Fetterman has spoken forcefully on behalf of Israel and its right to use force.

Casey’s Republican opponent Dave McCormick has praised Fetterman’s “moral clarity” regarding the Jewish state.

Nationally, both the Republican Jewish Coalition and Democratic Majority for Israel have issued statements opposing Biden’s treatment of the Jewish state.

“Joe Biden has cemented his legacy as the worst president for the Jewish community and the State of Israel ever,” said the RJC.

“We are deeply concerned about the administration’s decision to withhold weapons now and potentially impose further restrictions,” said the Democratic Majority for Israel’s Mark Mellman.

“A strong U.S.-Israel alliance like the one President Biden has created, plays a central role in preventing more war and making the path to eventual peace possible,” he added. “Calling the strength of that alliance into question is dangerous.”

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or Facebook.com/DelawareValleyJournal

Muhlenberg College Poll Shows Trump Ahead in PA, McCormick Gaining on Casey

As the clock ticks down to the 2024 election, a new Muhlenberg College poll has former President Donald Trump with a narrow three-point edge over President Joe Biden, 44 to 41 percent. But the poll found that if independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is on the ballot, he takes 18 percent of the vote, leaving Trump and Biden tied at 35 percent.

The same poll of 417 registered voters conducted between April 15 and 25 shows three-term incumbent Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) at 45 percent to Republican challenger Dave McCormick’s 41 percent.

The poll is the second within the past month to show McCormick is closing the gap against Casey, after Emerson College’s April survey found Casey’s lead had narrowed to just four points.

Political observers say both Biden and Trump are well-known to the public and it’s unlikely that many voters will shift their views in the remaining six months until November.

“I imagine we will see little ebbs and flows between Biden and Trump’s poll numbers over the next six months, but I would be surprised by any major shifts given how cemented the candidates are in most voters’ minds. Just like 2016 and 2020, the race in Pennsylvania is likely to be very close,” said Muhlenberg political science Professor Christopher Borick, director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion.

Quantum Communications CEO Charlie Gerow said, “This poll confirms that Donald Trump leads in Pennsylvania by an increasingly significant margin. That’s not surprising. The Biden economy is hurting ordinary Pennsylvanians, and they are going to vote against him in November.”

“Biden’s approval ratings continue to sink as Americans and Pennsylvanians in particular see someone who simply doesn’t have the capacity to lead,’ Gerow added.

The poll also found that Biden’s 2024 campaign to win Pennsylvania, a key swing state, is being undermined by poor job approval ratings (35 percent). And, only 33 percent of voters believe that Biden deserves a second term.

However, Biden and Trump both must contend with high unfavorable ratings among Pennsylvania voters. Some 57 percent disapprove of Biden and 55 percent hold similar negative views of Trump.

“The Presidential race will have an impact on the Senate race in terms of keeping the Senate votes fairly close to the presidential results, but by no means determine the winner. There is room for both Casey and McCormick to build enough separation from their presidential candidates that they can find a path to victory even if their party loses the presidential race,” Borick said. “A significant portion of voters either haven’t heard of McCormick, or have no opinion about him, so both his and Casey’s campaign will be active in defining him for that audience.”

Gerow said, “The poll also shows that Dave McCormick has an excellent shot at defeating Bob Casey. Casey’s lackluster record will be contrasted by McCormick’s service in the military,  as a job creator and as someone who has accomplished a great deal.”

“Bob Casey has spent his entire adult life in politics pushing the Democrat party line while his family got rich off his Senate office—that’s why he’s in the race of his life against Dave McCormick. Pennsylvanians need a senator who will put them first, not a career politician like Bob Casey,” said National Republican Senate Committee Spokesman Philip Letsou.

An election survey of Pennsylvania voters ages 50 and older conducted by Fabrizio Ward & Impact Research on behalf of AARP was also released this week. Not surprisingly, those voters are concerned about Social Security, Medicare and the cost of prescription medications.

In the 2020 elections, older voters accounted for 55 percent of all Pennsylvania voters and in the 2022 mid-terms, they comprised 62 percent of the state’s voters. Eighty-five percent of voters ages 50 and older say they are “extremely motivated” to vote in this election.

Among these older voters, Trump leads Biden by 52 percent to 42 percent. Casey leads McCormick 48 percent to 44 percent.

Elizabeth Gregory, a spokeswoman for McCormick, said, “Pennsylvanians from across the commonwealth are joining Dave’s movement to send a 7th-generation Pennsylvanian, combat veteran, and PA job creator to the Senate to deliver new leadership and fresh ideas. From day one of this campaign, Dave has been laser-focused on uniting the party and training our fire on career politician Bob Casey, who has voted for Joe Biden’s failing agenda 98 percent of the time, fueling a border crisis that has killed over 4,000 Pennsylvanians from fentanyl, violent crime, record inflation and regulations that are killing the commonwealth’s energy sector. On November 5, Pennsylvania will retire empty suit Bob Casey and send Dave McCormick to the Senate.”

The Casey campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or Facebook.com/DelawareValleyJournal