- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A Pennsylvania state senator seeking the Republican nomination for governor said he has no plans to apologize for a rant denigrating liberal billionaire George Soros that religious leaders have deemed anti-Semitic.

State Sen. Scott Wagner was recorded by an opposition tracker last week at the Pittstown Tomato Festival when he denigrated Mr. Soros as “a Hungarian Jew” who has “a hatred for America,” the York Daily Record reported.

Despite calls from religious leaders to apologize for the comments, Mr. Wagner said he doesn’t see the point.

“Look,” the Republican told the Daily Record on Monday. “[Mr. Soros] has spent a ton of money playing in Republican races everywhere. He has supported a very radical agenda.

“He was a big supporter of Obama and Obama set this country back eight years,” he said. “I think everybody’s getting their knickers around their ankles over this and there’s no reason for that.

“If he was Catholic, he would have been ‘a Hungarian Catholic.’ There was nothing offensive meant by that,” he said.

Three rabbis, two Baptist preachers and a St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Dallastown pastor earlier penned an open letter to Mr. Wagner urging him to apologize “to not only members of the Jewish community that you were elected to serve, but to all Pennsylvanians that you hope to represent as governor one day.”

“This type of hateful behavior has no place in our political environment,” they wrote.

Mr. Wagner has a history of confronting opposition trackers that get much of their funding from Mr. Soros. In May, police were called to a private event in York after Mr. Wagner confronted a tracker with American Bridge 21st Century, which receives millions from Mr. Soros, and confiscated the tracker’s camera in a heated argument. Mr. Wagner was not charged.

He later posted a Facebook message for Mr. Soros.

“I’m not going to back down from you or your bullies,” he said May 5.

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