Gov. Tom Wolf (D) is facing immense backlash from all sides — residents, local and state leaders, including Rep. Ryan Warner (R), who reminded the governor he is not the “supreme ruler of Pennsylvania.”
Wolf on Monday sharply criticized Pennsylvania leaders and business owners who are moving to reopen in violation of his orders, stating they are committing a “cowardly act.”
The proclamation drew backlash from residents and state leaders, including Rep. Warner, who blasted the governor on social media.
“Governor Wolf, how dare you have the audacity to call anyone a coward. Cowardly? My man, you don’t even have the COURAGE to openly answer questions from the press,” Warner wrote.
“Instead, you cower behind a staff member who filters and then asks you the questions,” he continued.
“Let me remind you sir, you are not the supreme ruler of Pennsylvania,” he added, reminding Wolf that “Whether it’s 1776 or 2020, we are not ruled, nor will we EVER be ruled, by one man- and especially not by one man who doesn’t even have the courage to openly face the media.”
Do you want to know why sheriffs, district attorneys, municipalities, counties and businesses across this commonwealth are defying your orders? It’s because this is the United States of America pal, where the people have the voice. Whether it’s 1776 or 2020, we are not ruled, nor will we EVER be ruled, by one man- and especially not by one man who doesn’t even have the courage to openly face the media.
Cowardly? Not addressing the people who are now going eight weeks without a paycheck because of the complete failure of a system that you and your department are directly responsible for is cowardly. Hiding your secret business waiver list until you were forced to disclose it by a subpoena is cowardly. Consulting with governors from other states rather than consulting with the elected officials of your own state is cowardly, and then calling out those very same elected officials who you chose to ignore, rather than work with, is flat out insulting. As I’ve said before, you’ve granted yourself unprecedented powers and you expect to take minimal responsibility for all that’s at hand. Instead, you blame and threaten those who try to make a difference….and that sir is the definition of a coward.
We are two months into your disaster declaration and at this point I’d like you to give me one reason why you still need to be making unilateral decisions and bypassing the legislative process? I think it is well beyond the time that this General Assembly runs the resolution that removes your power and restores it rightfully back to the people of this great commonwealth.
Governor Wolf, how dare you have the audacity to call anyone a coward. Cowardly? My man, you don’t even have the COURAGE…
Sean Parnell, Republican Candidate for the 17th Congressional District of Pennsylvania, also addressed the governor following his threats.
.@GovernorTomWolf it’s easy to threaten & hurl insults while you’re sitting inside the Governor’s mansion still getting a paycheck,” Parnell said.
“You’re insulated from any hardship. You don’t get to call people who are trying to feed their families cowards & deserters,” he added. You work for US”:
.@GovernorTomWolf it’s easy to threaten & hurl insults while you’re sitting inside the Governor’s mansion still getting a paycheck.
You’re insulated from any hardship.
You don’t get to call people who are trying to feed their families cowards & deserters.
You work for US. https://t.co/vBTEedqcpU
— Sean Parnell (@SeanParnellUSA) May 12, 2020
Wolf set off a political firestorm on Monday after doubling down during his press conference, contending that he could prevent counties from defying his orders and accusing those who are clamoring to reopen as giving up the fight against the virus and engaging in a “cowardly act.”
“To those politicians who decide to cave in to this coronavirus, they need to understand the consequences of their cowardly act,” Wolf said as he attempted to pit business owners against local leaders who, like them, want to reopen.
Politicians who are “urging businesses to risk their lives and risk the lives of their customers or their employees by opening prematurely” are “engaging in behavior that is both selfish and unsafe,” Wolf stated, issuing threats to business owners — threats that included the loss of health department certificates, liquor licenses, and certificates of occupancy.
“By opening before the evidence suggests you should, you’re taking undue risks with the safety of your customers,” the governor warned business owners, accusing them of doing something “morally wrong” and adding, “that’s also really bad business.”
Pennsylvania House Republicans responded to Wolf’s remarks on Monday, affirming their support of frustrated citizens:
— PA House Republicans (@PAHouseGOP) May 11, 2020
Calls for Wolf’s impeachment have also increased, following his controversial presser.