PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The mid-term election is just three weeks away and at stake is control of the House, and possibly the Senate.
One of those Senate races, is here in Pennsylvania where the incumbent, Democrat Bob Casey, is being challenged by Republican congressman Lou Barletta, of Hazelton.
For Barletta, the campaign turned ugly, and personal, when the Casey campaign aired an ad featuring Stacie Ritter and her twin daughters with cancer.
Casey campaign ad: “In Congress, Barletta voted to let insurance companies strip coverage for pre-existing conditions. Why would I ever vote for Lou Barletta?”
Barletta is especially sensitive to the ad because one of his grandchildren has cancer.
“This whole campaign has been scaring senior citizens, scare people who are sick, and then go after a family when they are down, you know, dealing with an 18-month-old child who has cancer is, I just can’t tell you how disappointed, hurt, angry and all the emotions you can imagine I feel for my family, for my daughter. And shame on him,” Barletta said.
When Barletta went on social media to complain about the ad, the Casey campaign pulled it in Barletta’s hometown market of Scranton.
Barletta: “It’s so bad it can’t be viewed in Scranton, but not bad enough for the people of Pittsburgh? And not so bad for the people of Allentown? And, how does he think I feel as I travel around the state and I’m in a hotel room and I see the ad, or my daughter.”
Stacy Smith: “You know that politics gets like this, though.”
Barletta: “No, no it doesn’t get like this. No it doesn’t. No it doesn’t, nor should it.”
But in an interview with KDKA-TV’s Stacy Smith on Wednesday, Barletta was also critical of the leadership of his party for not having a plan in place when they voted to repeal Obamacare.
“Hell yeah, hell yeah. We had six years to get something that should have been ironed out. Listen, it wouldn’t have been perfect, and it would have been ugly at the hearings, of course, but at the end it would have fixed the problems,” Barletta said.
Barletta has endorsed and embraced President Donald Trump.
He knows, there are many who dislike the president. However, he said that even if the election is a referendum on the president, he believes it becomes personal to the voter.
“I just think that when people go into that voting booth, they’re going to say, we are better off now than we were two years ago. We are better off now than when Bob Casey and his friends and President Obama were in charge. And, why would you want to stop that?” Barletta said.
KDKA-TV has reached out to Sen. Casey for a one-on-one interview, but his representatives have not contacted us back.
Don’t forget KDKA’s Senate debate between Barletta and Casey has been re-scheduled. The debate will now air at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26.