Susan Wild apologizes for saying she was 'dismayed' when red Carbon County was added to PA-7
LEHIGHTON, Pa. — Some Republican candidates for Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional District are taking incumbent Susan Wild to task after footage from a teleconference call showed the Democrat saying she was "dismayed" to have Carbon County added to her district.
The video appears to show Wild in the middle of a Zoom call with prominent Pennsylvania Democrats — U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, former U.S. Rep. Connor Lamb and U.S. Rep. Chris DiLuzio.
The 41-second clip catches Wild mid-sentence discussing her reaction to Carbon County being added to Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional District through the 2022 redistricting process.
"After Trump came along, it went from sort of a working-class blue district to, you know—they drank the Trump Kool-Aid and it really became a red county. So I was dismayed, frankly, when I got that."Susan Wild in a video clip
"After Trump came along, it went from sort of a working-class blue district to, you know — they drank the Trump Kool-Aid and it really became a red county," said Wild, D-Lehigh Valley.
"So I was dismayed, frankly, when I got that."
It's not clear when the video was taken, who else may have been on the call or if any context was removed. Wild's team did not respond to a question requesting information on the nature of the call.
Wild's comments surfaced this week in a report by Fox News.
'She should resign'
Those remarks drove Maria Montero, who is seeking the Republican nomination to Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional District seat, to hold a small rally Thursday outside Wild's office on Mahoning Street.
Photos provided by the Montero campaign showed a protester dressed as the Kool-Aid Man holding a sign featuring the brand mascot's iconic, "OH YEAH!"
"If you're attacking your own, do you have the best interests of your constituents in mind?"7th District candidate Maria Montero
In a phone interview afterward, Montero called Wild's remarks disrespectful.
"If you're attacking your own, do you have the best interests of your constituents in mind?" she said.
She encouraged Carbon County residents to reach out to Wild's office and let them know what they thought of the remarks. Any dialogue, Montero said, should be civil and respectful.
Around the same time as the rally, state Rep. Ryan Mackenzie, R-Lehigh, released a video on Facebook condemning her remarks, saying he could not think of anything more offensive.
"If she cannot support our district the way that she is supposed to do, she should resign her office," Mackenzie said.
'I apologize deeply'
Instead, Wild released a statement Friday saying the remarks were taken out of context in a partisan manner.
She noted that upon winning re-election to the redrawn district, she opened her office in Lehighton and has gone to bat for the community.
Wild said she's secured $400,000 in federal assistance for the Palmerton Fire Department and $8 million for critical projects in the region.
"I can assure you what people are reading is entirely inconsistent with my true feelings and not at all reflective of the enormous respect that I have for the people of Carbon County and the commitment I have to delivering for them in Washington."U.S. Rep. Susan Wild, D-Lehigh
"Regardless, I regret what I said and I apologize deeply to anyone I may have offended," Wild said.
"I can assure you what people are reading is entirely inconsistent with my true feelings and not at all reflective of the enormous respect that I have for the people of Carbon County and the commitment I have to delivering for them in Washington."
Montero, Mackenzie, Air Force National Guard intelligence Officer Kevin Dellicker and Penn State University law student Allen Issa are running vying for the Republican nomination for PA-7.
The winner will take on Wild, who does not have a Democratic opponent. The district is one of the most heavily contested in the nation, with both major parties and political observers labeling it as a toss-up.
The district includes Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton counties as well as a sliver of Monroe County.