GOP Congressional Candidate Refuses to Say if He Supports Trump

Photo from Rob Mercuri's campaign website

By Sean Kitchen

August 23, 2023

Pennsylvania State Rep. Rob Mercuri, who once supported Donald Trump, refused to answer questions last week about whether he still supports the former president. When asked about Trump, Mercuri pivoted and stated that he wants his campaign to focus on local issues. 

State Rep. Rob Mercuri (R-Allegheny) declined to say if he supported former President Donald Trump after launching his congressional campaign to challenge US Rep. Chris Deluzio (D-Allegheny), a reversal of his previous position on Trump.

In a 2020 interview with CBS Pittsburgh, Mercuri was asked by reporter Jon Delano if he was a Trump supporter. 

“I am a Trump supporter. I am a fan of his policies,” Mercuri responded. 

But during an appearance on the The Big K Morning Show on KDKA in Pittsburgh last week—on the day he announced his campaign—Mercuri refused to answer multiple questions about his support for Trump.  

“At the end of the day my man, you’re going to be asked ‘where do you stand with Donald Trump? Do you support Donald Trump?’” host Marty Griffin asked Mercuri.

Mercuri responded by saying that his campaign was focused on winning over community members and moving the country forward.

“Donald Trump has his campaign to run and I got my campaign to run and I’m going to be super focused on local issues,” Mercuri said. 

Noting that Mercuri failed to answer his question, Griffin asked it again. 

“Are you going to support Donald Trump? Because you will be asked this, certainly if you’re elected,” Griffin said. 

“Well Marty, we’re going to let that play out. We’re going to let that play out. That’s the way I’m approaching it because if we stay focused on the partisan moment we’re in—and I think this moment for my announcement and today’s indictment of President Trump is indicative as to why we need leaders who are ready to move forward,” Mercuri responded.

“You know you could talk about the political nature of what the Justice Department is doing around the country. You could talk about the indictments themselves, but I’d rather focus on local issues and how to get the country back on track,” he added. 

Mercuri’s refusal to answer the question represents just his latest effort to soften some of his conservative stances. 

The Keystone reported last week that Mercuri scrubbed any mentions of his anti-abortion views from his campaign website. The old version of the website described himself as a “proud pro-life, pro-family leader, he will continue to defend the sanctity of life compassionately through all its phases and always keep the needs of families in mind when crafting policy.”

Mercuri previously supported State Rep Stephanie Borowicz’s (R-Clinton) six-week abortion ban and voted for a constitutional amendment that would have banned the legal right to an abortion in Pennsylvania.

 

Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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