Former Democratic congressman and current Pennsylvania lieutenant governor candidate Mark Critz ruffled his party's feathers with comments regarding women and homosexuals, according to The Patriot News.
Critz attended a meeting Saturday for the party state committee and was confronted about a joke about rape that he made in June 2012 at the Pennsylvania Federation of Democratic Women’s convention.
During the meeting Saturday, Michele Sellitto, who had attended the 2012 convention, asked Critz to tell her how he proposed “to represent the people of Pennsylvania when at a state Democratic women’s caucus you told a joke that was degrading to women and to gays.”
After more questions from Sellitto, Critz reportedly left the meeting.
The offending joke, according to Missa Eaton, who attended the convention, was about “a home invasion and a rape scene, and in the end the perpetrator is gay.”
Why Critz, who was a congressman at the time he made the joke, thought it would be funny to tell a rape joke to a convention full of women, is unclear.
“Women don’t tend to take kindly to jokes about rape,” Eaton said.
Critz went on to lose his congressional seat in November, but the incident never made it to the media.
“Several people wanted to go to the press, but others said for the good of the party let it go,” said Sellitto.
How convenient that when a Democrat makes an outrageous and offensive statement, his party will pretend it didn’t happen.
Notice the difference between Critz’s situation and that of Richard Mourdock, who during a debate in 2012 made a comment about rape that derailed his election.
Critz’s statement was never taken to the press, but it seems odd that no video was taken of a convention. If there is no footage, Critz may have been lucky, unlike Mourdock and former Rep. Todd Akin, who made absurd statements captured in video.
The rape joke is not the only offensive comment made by Critz, either. In September at a Democratic Party of York County dinner, Critz suggested to Roger Lund, who chaired the meeting Saturday, that straight familial relationships were similar to homosexual relationships.
“He says, ‘I have an aunt that’s never been married,' ” Lund said. “ 'Her entire life she’s lived with her mother. I would call that a committed relationship. Should they be allowed to marry, too?' ”
Lund had asked Critz if the candidate’s position of gay marriage had “evolved.” Critz’s effort to defend himself sounded vaguely condescending.
“None of these people I’ve ever met before,” he said. “They don’t know my record, or my district. They’re judging me on the little bit of information they know, whereas the people here in my district know me.”
He might need to be reminded that he is running for statewide office and not just a district office.