Last night on PCN I watched a gubernatorial forum that was conducted on March 30 by the Lehighton 9-12 Project, a conservative activist group that is calling for smaller government and adherence to the Constitution. The Republican candidates for Pennsylvania Governor in attendance were Representative Sam Rohrer and Attorney General Tom Corbett.
To begin the forum each candidate was given a few minutes to make an opening statement about their candidacy. Tom Corbett was the first speaker.
Now I’ve attended or have seen on TV a number of events for both candidates and generally know what to expect when they speak. But something was very strange about what I was hearing from Mr. Corbett.
If I would have been reading a transcript of Mr. Corbett’s statement rather than hearing him speak I would have easily identified the words as those of Sam Rohrer. The policies and goals that were mentioned and even some of the exact phrases were those I have heard quite a few times from Mr. Rohrer at his town hall meetings.
So how in the world did they emanate from Tom Corbett’s mouth?
The Lehighton 9-12 folks were more likely to be receptive to Sam Rohrer’s authentic conservative message than to Tom Corbett’s well-known moderate center-right stance. So on this night Mr. Corbett was attempting to make all the correct noises in an effort to appear conservative to these voters. The only problem was that the words and thoughts were Mr. Rohrer’s and the true meaning of those words was lost to Mr. Corbett’s centrist mindset. This was a clear case of changing the message to deceive the audience, except that Mr. Corbett was unable to define his own message and was forced to steal it from his opponent in a hollow parody of true conservatism.
How sad for you, Mr. Corbett, to have no definitive message of your own and feel the need to pilfer another man’s words to appeal to an audience. Is this a preview of the kind of honesty and principles we can expect from you if you’re elected?