Obama’s San Francisco remarks, attributing the Keystone state’s small town residents’ religious faith and enthusiasm for hunting to bitterness over economic failure, are not winning him a lot of friends in Pennsylvania.
Scranton mayor Chris Doherty responded with an impromptu press conference in Lackawanna County’s Courthouse Square, accompanied by his predecessor in office, local union officials, the mayors of four nearby boroughs, and a visiting New Hampshire state senator, denouncing Obama’s contemptuous analysis.
Former Scranton Mayor Jim Connors said the remarks demean people here as hicks. Mr. Obama wants to transcend stereotypes, but then he stereotyped others, Mr. Connors said.
Standing in front of the John Mitchell statue, Mr. Doherty called hunting a tradition, borne not out of spite but culture and pride. The areaâ€™s churches, he said, were built on hopes of improving life and fostering families, not because the population here is downtrodden.
Mr. Doherty pointed to economic growth and investment. He said itâ€™s necessary to combat that negative image.
â€œThatâ€™s not the truth,â€ he said.
At Mr. Dohertyâ€™s side were Mr. Connors and the mayors from Jessup, Taylor, Freeland and Moosic, along with New Hampshire state Sen. Lou Dâ€™Allesandro.
Taylor Mayor Richard Bowen said Mr. Obamaâ€™s comments hit home beyond Pennsylvania, and he predicts it will cost the senator voters who are on the fence.
Mr. Connors said what most offends him is that Mr. Obama said these things on the other side of the country behind closed doors. Mr. Connors bet Mr. Obama wouldnâ€™t have made such remarks in Altoona.
AP reports that Obama tried apologizing in Winston-Salem:
Obama tried to quell the furor Saturday, explaining his remarks while also conceding he had chosen his words poorly.
“If I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that,” Obama said in an interview with the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal.
Those condescending San Francisco remarks were a major misstep. They are going to assure a Clinton victory in Pennsylvania.
I happened to be speaking to a Pennsylvania hunter from Berks County on the telephone yesterday. “Who would ever have imagined,” she marveled, “that Hillary Clinton would become the working man’s candidate in this state? But that’s the way it is. Only rich people and the college professors are for Obama.”
Meanwhile in Indiana, that redneck Hillary, proudly notes her own Scrantonian roots, brandishes her deer rifle, and fondly remembers granddad heading off to work at the mill (just before he gave her a childhood shooting lesson behind the fishing cabin he built with his own hands!). 2:55 video