Democrats Hate America, Trump and God, Rick Saccone Says

PA-18 GOP nominee made comments at campaign rally on special election eve

Democrat Conor Lamb, left, and Republican Rick Saccone are competing for Pennsylvania’s open 18th District seat. (Courtesy Conor Lamb/Rick Saccone/Facebook)

Pennsylvania state Rep. Rick Saccone accused the Democratic Party of being energized by “hatred” for “our country,” “God” and “our president” on the eve of the most important day in his political career so far.

Saccone made the comments Monday at a rally at a local volunteer fire department in Blaine Hill. He squares off Tuesday against Democrat Conor Lamb in the special election for Pennsylvania’s 18th District.

“They say the other side is energized,” Saccone said in a video posted to Twitter by NBC News. “Let me tell you, they’re energized for hate for our president. They have a hatred for our president.”

“I’ve talked to so many of these on the left,” Saccone said. “And they have a hatred for our president. And I tell you, many of them have a hatred for our country.”

“I’ll tell you some more — my wife and I saw it again today: They have a hatred for God,” Saccone said. “It’s amazing. You see it when I’m talking to them. It’s disturbing to me.”

Millions of dollars in outside spending and national media attention have been directed at Tuesday’s special election in southwestern Pennsylvania — all for a district that likely won’t exist come November due to a state Supreme Court ruling on current district lines.

Saccone and Lamb, a former federal prosecutor, are locked in a tight race in a district President Donald Trump carried by nearly 20 points in 2016. Whoever wins the 18th District race will head to Congress, but he will run for a full term in a newly configured district, thanks to the state Supreme Court imposing a new congressional map ahead of the midterm elections.

Watch: Three Things to Watch in Pennsylvania’s Special Election

Lamb has argued he would work with both parties for the betterment of the district. Saccone has said he has the experience to be a successful lawmaker, and he wants to be one of Trump’s “wingmen” in Congress.

The question is which message will win over enough voters Tuesday in the 18th District. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race a Toss-up.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.