A Democratic congressional candidate in Pennsylvania, debating in a synagogue with his GOP opponent before an audience, used language you don’t often hear in a religious setting, telling his opponent to “f*** off.”
Scott Wallace, running against GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, shocked the audience at Congregation Tifereth Israel in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, as the two candidates stood on the platform normally used for reading the Torah.
Fitzpatrick told WBCB, “Ironically, there was a later question about the need for civility in politics. Well, a good start is to not use vulgarities in the sanctuary of a synagogue in the middle of a congressional debate.”
WBCB reported, “In addition to Fitzpatrick, people in the synagogue and the moderator took exception with Wallace’s obscenity.”
Fitzpatrick continued, “You’ll have to ask Scott Wallace what his motivations were. My sense is he was frustrated because I was cross examining him on the ad he’s running, which is a false ad based on my position on pre-existing conditions. I was asking him a series of questions on what bill he was referring to, had he read it, and he came out with this expletive.”
Wallace’s TV ads state that Fitzpatrick wants to remove healthcare from people with pre-existing conditions; the Washington Post’s Fact Checker wrote that the ads are highly inaccurate:
The DCCC really crosses the line here. Fitzpatrick bucked his party to vote against one of the president’s top priorities, the repeal of Obamacare, specifically because he was concerned about the impact on people with preexisting conditions. His reward? Being attacked for selling his constituents out on the issue because of his minor procedural votes, when just about every member of Congress sticks to party lines.
The vote that really counted on preexisting conditions was the tough one — on the proposed law itself. You would think the Democrats would at least applaud him for his courage, but apparently that’s not how the game is played these days. The DCCC earns Four Pinocchios.
On Monday Scott Wallace issued an explanatory statement regarding his profane outburst:
I was exasperated by yet another attempt from Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick to hide from his votes to take away protections for people with pre-existing conditions. I apologize for any offense that might have been taken, I am passionate about protecting people from insurance company abuses, and I’m sorry that in this instance, my frustration got the best of me.
In 2016, Fitzpatrick, a former FBI agent, ran for the open U.S. House of Representatives seat of his brother, Mike, who had served four terms but promised to honor his pledge to limit himself to four terms. He was embedded with U.S. Special Forces as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Fitzpatrick sponsored the International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology (INTERDICT) Act, which was signed into law by President Trump; the law directs $15 million to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to expand screening for fentanyl and opioids at the U.S. border.
Because of redistricting, Fitzpatrick is running against Wallace for Congress in Pennsylvania's First Congressional District.