The Bucks County GOP has accused a Republican congressional candidate of making “discriminatory” remarks on social media and attempting to secretly record an interview with party officials.
The party also said Andy Meehan, the president of an investment firm who is running in the April 28 primary against incumbent GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, had lied about a DUI conviction and recorded meetings with local GOP clubs and committees without their prior knowledge.
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“Following the discovery of discriminatory statements made on social media and a record of deception unbecoming of a candidate for federal office, the Executive Committee has found Andrew Meehan’s congressional candidacy inconsistent with our shared values of individual liberty and personal freedom,” Bucks GOP chair Pat Poprik said in a statement Tuesday.
Meehan, who has accused Fitzpatrick of failing to support President Donald Trump’s agenda, said the social media posts had been taken out of context. “Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick and his allies have launched an ‘everything and the kitchen sink’ attack on my campaign,” he said in a statement late Tuesday, adding that he did not want the party’s endorsement.
Fitzpatrick, one of the few suburban Republicans who survived the Democratic wave in the 2018 midterm elections, is favored to win the nomination. Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District is considered one of the most competitive in the country, but Democrats have yet to recruit a top-tier candidate to challenge him.
The county party pointed to screen shots of social media posts including one in which Meehan wrote: “Translation: Hooray for the divisive environment brought on by the identity race vulture politics of the LEFT! Hooray for the african americans that opt to stay on the government plantation where they belong! Inmates hate seeing others set free.”
Meehan said the comment “was not my opinion but an honest paraphrasing of the left’s attitude towards African Americans in our country.”
“No, I do not say ‘Hooray’ for keeping anyone on a ‘government plantation,’ " he said. "That is the left’s position, not mine.”
He said he was not racist: “It’s the most ridiculous accusation ever.”
In another post, Meehan wrote: “I’m one of your ‘nazis’ come punch me snowflake!”
In the statement, Meehan said he used the word Nazi in quotes “in response to the left’s ascribing that label to everyone they disagree with ... and using that as a justification to ‘punch a Nazi.’ ”
The Bucks GOP didn’t have the link to the posts, so the context wasn’t clear.
The party also highlighted a photo on Meehan’s campaign website, captured via screen shot, of a man wearing a T-shirt bearing the image of the Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara that included an antigay slur.
Meehan said that he didn’t know the individual and that his campaign website had featured hundreds of photos from events. “I don’t condone that kind of language and it’s not on our current website,” he said.
“I believe these images speak for themselves,” said Fitzpatrick campaign spokesperson Kate Constantini.
As for the alleged secret recordings, Meehan said: “Public meetings are fine for people to record."
Meehan confirmed he had pleaded guilty in 2007 to charges of driving while intoxicated. He said he had “made a mistake in driving home from my local bar in the snow" and had a “low-speed collision” with another car stopped at a traffic light, causing minor damage. “I greatly regret that incident and have not had any other like it before or since," he said.
The Fitzpatrick campaign last weekend uploaded an unlisted video to YouTube — visible only to those who receive the link — that highlighted the drunken-driving conviction and declared Meehan “dangerous,” “unstable,” and “unelectable.”