Pennsylvania GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner sent a message to his opponent Gov. Tom Wolf in a video Friday, saying, “I’m going to stomp all over your face with golf spikes.”
In a video posted on Wagner’s campaign Facebook page Friday morning, a finger-jabbing Wagner tells Wolf, “Somewhere yesterday, your people said that I raised a … white flag.”
“Well, Gov. Wolf, let me tell you, between now and November 6, you better put a catcher’s mask on your face,” he adds. “Because I’m going to stomp all over your face with golf spikes because I’m going to win this for the state of Pennsylvania.”
Wolf, a one-term Democrat, leads Wagner, a steadfast supporter of President Donald Trump, by double digits in at least five polls.
Wagner campaign spokesman Andrew Romeo said in a statement that Wagner’s “comments were not to be taken literally.”
“He wanted them to be a metaphor for how he will approach the final stretch of the campaign,” he added.
Wolf’s campaign called Wagner “unhinged and unfit for office” after he released the video.
“Scott Wagner’s latest rant shows he is unhinged and unfit for office,” Wolf campaign communications director Beth Melena said in a statement to CNN. “Threats of violence have no place in society, especially from someone running for public office.”
In the video, Wagner begins by attacking a billboard sponsored by left-leaning advocacy group Pennsylvania Spotlight that says, “Scott Wagner’s Penn Waste sued 6,979 Pennsylvanians,” referencing Wagner’s waste disposal company.
“Hey, Gov. Wolf, did you ever have a customer not pay you when you were such a sharp business guy?” Wagner asks. Wolf was most recently an owner and then an executive of The Wolf Organization, as well as serving on several York County boards.
Wagner then references a purported Wolf-sponsored TV commercial alleging that Wagner earns a $70 million salary from Penn Waste, though Romeo and Melena both declined to comment on whether such an ad exists. News outlets have reported that Penn Waste is slated to make $70 million this year.
Wagner also accuses Wolf of pretending to support small businesses after harming them in previous budget fights.
“I want to puke when I see those ads because small business owners have to collect their money,” Wagner says. “You put a lot of small businesses out of business, because they couldn’t pay their bills because of the budget standoff for nine months in 2015 and ‘16. I had several of them call me and ask how they could get paid from the state of Pennsylvania.”
Wagner opened for Trump at a campaign rally Wednesday in Northern Pennsylvania.
“I’m a garbage man. And believe me, I know how to take out the trash,” Wagner said at the rally to loud applause.
CORRECTION: This story was updated to correct the sponsor of a billboard referenced in Wagner’s video. The article was also updated to correct the photograph to show Wagner.