House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) knows the value of winning in “Scranton Joe’s” hometown, and he has been a bit obsessed with it.
For weeks, he has been talking about traveling to the Pennsylvania birthplace of President Joe Biden to promote GOP candidate and former Trump official Jim Bognet, and on Monday, he was finally in the town that Biden often cites to bolster his ties to unions and blue-collar life.
Scalise’s message was simple: A win would show that Biden has cut his roots.
“If you think about Scranton, Pennsylvania, and the values that Joe Biden has left behind,” he said, speaking at the Lackawanna County Republican headquarters on Pittston Avenue.
“If this district flips from Democrat to Republican, what message would that send all across the country, but especially to the White House? That people are fed up with the socialist agenda,” said Scalise to cheers from the crowd.
The Pennsylvania House race is a key GOP target. Bognet came close in his maiden campaign against Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright.
This year, he has picked up even more GOP support for his race.
And like Scalise, he is eager to show that Biden has lost touch with Scranton. "We are going to beat them so badly right here in Joe Biden's quote, unquote hometown, which he left in 1953. When we win this race, the front page of every newspaper in the country is going to say, 'Joe Biden's liberal agenda defeated overwhelmingly in his hometown of Scranton,'" said Bognet.
During his pep talk, Scalise tackled bread-and-butter issues, such as gas, grocery prices, jobs, and illegal immigration, and mocked Biden for shutting down some U.S. oil production while traveling to Saudi Arabia this week to plead for more oil.
“He said no to drilling in America, but he's flying Air Force One this week 5,700 miles to Saudi Arabia to beg them to drill for oil,” said Scalise.
“Well, I say, Mr. President, save the gas because, by the way, they don't have solar panels on the wings of Air Force One — it's jet fuel that he's going to be burning to fly over there. Save the gasoline and the jet fuel and stay in America. Make it in America, oil and natural gas here in Pennsylvania and South Louisiana. We know how to do it. He just told us no, and now he’s going to get dictators,” said the No. 2 House GOP leader.