Josh Shapiro Defends Primary Ad Tying Doug Mastriano to Trump

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Politics|Josh Shapiro Defends Primary Ad Tying Doug Mastriano to Trump

Mr. Shapiro, the Democratic nominee for politician successful Pennsylvania, said helium was anxious to commencement the wide predetermination campaign.

Josh Shapiro, the Democratic nominee for politician  successful  Pennsylvania, astatine  a run  halt  this period  earlier  his superior   victory.
Credit...Jeff Swensen for The New York Times

Azi Paybarah

May 22, 2022, 12:13 p.m. ET

Josh Shapiro, the recently nominated Democratic campaigner for politician successful Pennsylvania, defended connected Sunday a tv advertisement helium ran that appeared to elevate the lasting of the Republican rival helium volition look successful November — a antheral Mr. Shapiro has called the country’s astir utmost campaigner for governor.

The advertisement is portion of a long-held strategy among run tacticians: elevate your astir utmost rival, and peel distant disaffected moderates from that rival’s enactment travel November. Last week, Axios noted that the emergence of far-right, Trump-aligned candidates could trial this mentation and that Democrats are “trying to technologist the emergence of ultra-MAGA candidates they consciousness volition beryllium easier to decision successful a wide election.”

But successful today’s highly polarized environment, successful which enactment affiliation is deeply interwoven with people’s consciousness of identity, that strategy could backfire, arsenic many Democrats were stunned to larn successful 2016.

During the Republican superior successful Pennsylvania, Mr. Shapiro, the state’s lawyer general, ran an advertisement that called State Senator Doug Mastriano “one of Donald Trump’s strongest supporters.” The advertisement went connected to accidental that Mr. Mastriano “wants to extremity ballot by mail. He led the combat to audit the 2020 election. If Mastriano wins, it’s a triumph for what Donald Trump stands for.”

Mr. Mastriano was a cardinal fig successful Mr. Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 statesmanlike predetermination results and, if helium wins successful November, helium could beryllium successful a presumption to overturn the results of the state’s predetermination successful 2024.

On Sunday, the CNN big Dana Bash asked Mr. Shapiro if it was “irresponsible” to boost a campaigner similar Mr. Shapiro “because you deliberation you tin bushed him.”

It was not, Mr. Shapiro said. For weeks, Mr. Mastriano led the crowded Republican field, according to nationalist and backstage polling, and Mr. Shapiro, who was uncontested for the Democratic nomination, said helium was anxious to person voters recognize the prime they would soon face.

“What we did was commencement the wide predetermination run and show the wide contrast, the stark differences betwixt helium and I,” Mr. Shapiro said.

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