GOP candidate calls woman ‘young and naive’ for asking about fossil fuel industry donations

The GOP candidate in Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial race called an 18-year-old woman “young and naive” after she asked him about campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry.

“You know what? I appreciate you being here. And you’re 18 years old. And, you know, you’re a little young and naive,” Scott Wagner said during a town hall meeting in Montgomery County, Pa., on Wednesday night, according to vide posted on social media.


The woman who asked the question is Rose Strauss, a member of the Sunrise Movement, a group that advocates for leaders to reject donations from the fossil fuel industry, according to PennLive.

Video posted on social media shows Strauss asking Wagner — founder of the trash hauling firm PennWaste and a former GOP state senator — if his opinions on climate change have anything to do with the contributions he’s received from the fossil fuel industry.

“You’ve said that climate change is a result of people’s body heat, and are refusing to take action on the issue” Strauss said. “Does this have anything to do with the $200,000 that you have taken from the fossil fuel industry?”

Wagner laughs off the question initially, calling Rose naive — prompting applause and laughter from the crowd.

“Are we here to elect a governor or elect a scientist?” Wagner asked. “Okay? I’m here to be the governor. I appreciate, and I understand the question.

Wagner added that “climate change is important,” but that he’s also focused on issues such as problems related to sewage.

Wagner will face Gov. Tom Wolf (D) in November. Wolf’s running mate, Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, mocked Wagner’s answer in a tweet.

A spokesperson for Wagner defended his answer in a statement to PennLive, saying Wagner’s point was “that it’s naive to suggest he doesn’t believe in climate change and that there are things as governor he thinks could be done better to address the issue.”


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