Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), a U.S. Senate candidate, claimed Saturday that a sign promoting his campaign was set on fire in a Republican part of the state.
The tweet from Fetterman, which included a photograph of the alleged incident, came after he struggled in the first and only debate he participated in against Republican challenger Dr. Mehmet Oz before next month’s midterm elections.
“This happened last night on a farm in deep red Lawrence County,” Fetterman claimed on Twitter. “There is no place for violence and intimidation in politics. Our campaign is about bringing people together and rejecting hate + extremism. All Pennsylvanians should feel safe to show their political support.”
This happened last night on a farm in deep red Lawrence County.
There is no place for violence and intimidation in politics.
Our campaign is about bringing people together and rejecting hate + extremism.
All Pennsylvanians should feel safe to show their political support. pic.twitter.com/AIihG37bt4
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) October 29, 2022
No immediate reports confirmed the claim from the Fetterman campaign, and local media ignored the story altogether.
Fetterman even fundraised off the alleged incident.
Critics online questioned the veracity of the claims, suggesting that the entire incident might not be real.
Kurt Schlichter, attorney and columnist: “Lucky they were there with a camera right?”
Stephen L. Miller, podcast host: “They are losing and everyone sees what they are doing.”
Sean Davis, CEO and co-founder of The Federalist: “Congrats on setting your own sign on fire. Reminds me of your debate.”
Joe Concha, media analyst: “This is beyond staged. The desperation is real.”
Matt Wolking, political strategist: “This is a fiery but mostly peaceful protest (that you staged).”
Chris Barron, political strategist: “There are Oz signs ripped up and torn down EVERY single day. Your campaign should be talking to your own supporters rather than pushing this obvious hoax.”
Jim Treacher, blogger: “Who took this photo? Have you alerted the appropriate authorities about this crime? If not, why not?”
Jazz Shaw, Hot Air: “Incredible how you (or someone) managed to perfectly catch the sign in mid-burn with a camera at close range but nobody got a look at the perpetrator? What are the odds? Just amazing luck on your part, I guess.”
Wilfred Reilly, professor: “It’s legit crazy how a professional photographer showed up just in time to get this perfect picture of the burning sign.”