Thursday, July 31, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Corbett in Waiting

Gov. Corbett won't say who he likes in the GOP presidential race and won't say when he will say.

Corbett in Waiting

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer’s editor, a.k.a. BE)

BE:  I’ve been wondering, who’s our Republican Guv backing in the Republican presidential sweepstakes?

JB: Funny you should ask. Just yesterday, at a rare press availability in the Capitol, I asked the Guv if he has a preference that he’s willing to share.

BE: And?

JB: He noted the “key” to the question was “willing to share,” and said “no.”

BE: So he does have a preference?

JB: It seems that way. So I then asked IF the state’s April 24 primary goes off as planned (and there’s still some doubt, as reported in yesterday’s Inky) and IF there’s still a GOP race underway by then, would he endorse a candidate prior to the primary.

BE: That could make news.

JB: Well, he again demurred, citing the fact that lots of things have to happen before that date and suggested I come back and ask him in April.

BE: Given his penchant for not holding Capitol press conferences, do you think he meant THIS April?

JB: Good one, boss, and hard to say.  But I peg him for a Romney guy because he isn't exactly a push-the-envelope type and because a lot of the state’s Republican structural leadership, in some cases privately and in others not all that privately, is either in or seems to be in the Romney camp.

BE: Makes sense.

JB: Plus, national GOP committeeman Bob Asher, for example, is a Romney fundraiser and I’m told is working on a $1 million event to be held this spring.

BE: So, if Corbett leans Romney's way, why not just say so?

JB: Strategery. Back in September, 15 GOP state senators, including Senate President Joe Scarnati and Senate Appropriations Chairman Jake Corman, endorsed Santorum. Here’s the story and the list.

BE: So, since the Guv needs to work with these guys to get whatever legislation he wants and to get a budget and...

JB: Bingo. Why annoy them any further than he already does and publicly back the opponent of their choice?

BE: He waits it out, hopes the thing is either over by the April primary or hopes the primary gets moved and the race is over by whenever the primary gets move to.

JB: That’s my take. Corbett in waiting.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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