Politics & Policy

Former Pa. Gov. Mark Schweiker on Mike Fitzpatrick

Mark Schweiker, former Pennsylvania governor, appeared with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie this afternoon to campaign for Mike Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick is vying to reclaim the 8th congressional district seat, which he held for one term before being defeated in 2006 by less than 1,500 votes.

Schweiker, who became governor when Tom Ridge resigned in October 2001 to become the first head of the Department of Homeland Security, spoke with Battle ‘10 about his relationship with Fitzpatrick.

Citing a deep “personal friendship” with Fitzpatrick, Schweiker lauded his judgment, saying “his perspective is the right one for public service,” perhaps a subtle shot at incumbent Congressman Patrick Murphy.

“His take on the role of the national government in American lives is paramount,” Schweiker told Battle ‘10, “and he believes in the notion of limited government, the reduction of expenditures, and doing it with an eye on future generations.”

Speaking on the dynamics of Fitzpatrick’s re-match against Rep. Murphy, Schweiker said he thought many voters were “fretful or downright afraid of the current administration in Washington, DC, and they believe that a stronger check and balance has to be erected.”

“I think you do that by working to make sure that the perspective and people like Mike Fitzpatrick have the opportunity to do the construction of that check and balance.”

Shifting subject to the potential impact of Gov. Chris Christie’s endorsement of Fitzpatrick, Schweiker struck a pragmatic tone, cautioning, “I’ve never believed that popularity of another office holder translates to outright electoral support.”

“I think residents of this congressional district are essentially independent and thoughtful on their own,” he told Battle ‘10. “It’s a straight up comparison of the two candidates at the end of the proverbial day.”

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