Democratic congressional candidate Scott Wallace, who is running in Pennsylvania's 1st congressional district against Republican representative Brian Fitzpatrick, was captured saying "dogs are smarter than police officers" during a conversation with a constituent at a campaign event this past summer, according to audio sent to the Washington Free Beacon.
Wallace has been criticized by Rep. Fitzpatrick's campaign as being anti-law enforcement, which Wallace's campaign has denied. The two have sparred over law enforcement in advertisements.
The audio was recorded by a constituent during a meet-and-greet at an office opening in July in Montgomery County, Pa., but was sent to the Free Beacon on Sunday. The Pennsylvania resident, who wished to remain anonymous, described themselves as an independent voter who is not "thrilled with Trump" and was giving Wallace a chance, but has since decided that they are going to vote for Fitzpatrick after hearing Wallace make the comments.
Wallace was allegedly discussing gun control and school shootings with a constituent at the time the audio was recorded, particularly the subject of arming teachers. The resident who recorded the comments claims the constituent speaking to Wallace at the time alluded to how teachers are smarter than police officers, at which point Wallace made the comment that even dogs are smarter than police officers.
The Free Beacon asked the constituent if they had a longer version of the audio but was told they did not have the conversation in its entirety.
Wallace's campaign was asked for comment on the audio, and it replied by asking for a longer recording. When the background of the exchange (as told by the person who recorded) was relayed, Wallace's campaign then said if they were to send a statement they wanted it published in its entirety, in which the Free Beacon agreed.
Wallace's campaign later sent the following statement:
"Conveniently, the Washington Free Beacon was unable to provide the full recording – instead relying on twelve seconds of audio from an unidentified time, date and place for their latest smear," said Zoë Wilson-Meyer, the communications director for Scott Wallace for Congress. "This isn’t the first time Congressman Fitzpatrick's campaign has engaged in shockingly unethical campaign tactics – this could even be courtesy of the staffer they sent to our events to pose as a reporter. This is yet another smear from Fitzpatrick and the conservative propaganda machine as they try to cling to a seat they are in real danger of losing. Scott has a deep respect for our law enforcement and has support from local and national law enforcement, including Bucks County Sheriff Milt Warrell and former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder."
Despite Wallace's campaign alluding to Fitzpatrick's campaign being behind the audio clip, this reporter does not know anyone who works for Fitzpatrick's campaign and has never spoken to anyone from the campaign.
Both candidates have received endorsements from law enforcement and first responder personnel in the area.
Fitzpatrick has garnered endorsements from the Bucks County Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), Montgomery County FOP, Pennsylvania State FOP, Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub, Pennsylvania Professional Firefighters Association, International Association of Firefighters, Philadelphia Firefighters Union, and Bensalem Firefighters Union.
Wallace has received the endorsements of Bucks County Sheriff Milt Warrell, Tullytown Borough Constable Mike Hammar, Hulmeville Borough Constable Michael Wasson, and Newtown Township Constable Ed Valenti.
Wallace, who was born in Bucks County, Pa., for years lived outside of the district he is now seeking to represent running his family foundation, the Wallace Global Fund, which has come under fire for its donations to far-left groups. Wallace had an address in Maryland but lived in South Africa for some time.
While Wallace was in South Africa, he collected homestead tax credits in Maryland despite an individual having to retain residency in the state a majority of the year, the Washington Free Beacon previously reported.
Wallace also told the Wall Street Journal earlier in the campaign that he last voted in Bucks County in 1978.
However, the Free Beacon obtained records of Wallace's voting history that shows Wallace did not even register in the county until late December 2017 and did not cast his first vote in the county until May 15, the day of his Democratic primary.
The Real Clear Politics average has the race between Fitzpatrick and Wallace as a toss-up.