Challenger Rooney Still Wants a Debate, Brings a Chicken

Republican candidate Joe Rooney speaks outside of Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz's Frankford Avenue office; calls her 'scared' for not wanting to debate.


Ardsley resident and Republican candidate for the 13th Congressional District Joe Rooney arrived outside Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz’s northeast Philadelphia office just before noon yesterday. As he placed campaign signs on the sidewalk, he jogged up the street to meet someone else in his campaign.

A woman wearing a yellow chicken suit.

Rooney had been to Schwartz’s Frankford Avenue office before. Last week he held a press conference in front of the office; he said he had been attempting to set up a debate with the incumbent since July.

It wasn’t happening though, Rooney said. According to Rooney, he met with Schwartz’s campaign manger during the July 4 parade in Norristown. Rooney said Schwartz’s camp could pick the venue and the moderator, but no one got back to Rooney.

“Since the summer I’ve been issuing press releases challenging her to come before the people to get to look at the issues,” Rooney said. “She’s completely ignoring the campaign.”

Rooney had harsh words for the incumbent.

“I don’t think she represents the people,” Rooney said. “She’s more like an elected princess. This isn’t a public servant, it’s a ruler.”

And Rooney had a chicken.

Rooney stood on the side of Frankford Avenue holding a large campaign sign; next to him was his daughter, dressed in a yellow chicken suit. The chicken’s sign read “Schwartz is a chicken.” The pair garnered a few honks. 

During his press conference yesterday in front of Schwartz’s office, Rooney attacked Schwartz’s record and called her “scared” and “too chicken” for not debating him. 

See what Rooney said in the video section above.

Schwartz was not at the Frankford Avenue office yesterday at noon. In response, Schwartz’s chief of staff Rachel Magnuson said the Representative is “actively working on behalf of her constituents and will continue to do so.”

When asked if there is a possibility that Schwartz and Rooney could debate, Magnuson said, “There will be several public forums in the future in which voters can hear both candidates’ viewpoints.” 

When pressed, she repeated the same line. 

Roman Gabriel October 11, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Go ahead and waste your vote. We all know what kind of "American" you are. A local police officer is murdered in cold blood and all you cared about was how his funeral procession would effect your govt. subsidized bus ride to work. Joe Rooney is a stand up guy from your own neighborhood. He will represent you, unlike the current congresswoman.
Marc Lombardi October 11, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Harsh words from a misogynistic douchetard. I'd actually feel bad if anything you stated had one iota of truth.
Roman Gabriel October 11, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Big words from a small mind. Why wont you consider a vote for Joe Rooney ?
Marc Lombardi October 11, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Because while Joe Rooney may be from my neighborhood, I don't think he'll operate with MY best interests in mind. We have different opinions regarding a vast number of social issues, I'm not sold on his economic recovery plan and while I think his heart is in the right place I don't think he is the right candidate for my vote. I'd sooner "waste" my vote behind someone whose plan I can support than vote for someone because we live in the same town.
Roman Gabriel October 11, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Does the debt mean anything to you ? If we continue to spend 1 trillion dollars a year more than we bring in, this country is doomed. All other issues can eventually be resolved. A-hole Klienman and the rest of the 99%ers just want handouts. We are out of money.
Sugar Beet October 11, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Pro-abort Allyson Schwartz (and former co-owner in an abortion mill) has got to go. She is smart in failing to debate Joe Rooney. Joe's so much more experienced in service and in life. Plus his values represent the vast majority of the constituents. It was always a crooked deal in the way Congressional District 13 was gerrymandered with NE Philly where the unions play into politics so much.
Marc Lombardi October 11, 2012 at 05:49 PM
The debt means plenty. It's why I support the current administrations plan on fixing the economy and paying down the debt with an elimination of tax breaks to the wealthiest 1% of Americans.
Harry October 11, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Marc Lombardi is about as dumb as they come....the idea that taxing the top 1% in this country to pay down the debt shows how truly ignorant and/or stupid he is....the outstanding national debt stands at $16,000,000,000,000....the total income of the top 1% per year is $166,000,000,000....you can Google and research the validity of these numbers if you like, but they are solid....so moron Lombardi, get this....if you tax the top 1% @ 100%, it pays about 9% of the national debt....and since you taxed the 1% @ 100%, the following year, you will not have any money left to tax....can you comprehend this dope?...so you are still left with $15,000,000,000,000 in debt...now what?...tax the middle class?...the 47%...you sincerely are stupid Lombardi...or you are deceitfully posting things...either grow the heck up, or grow some intellect...
Marc Lombardi October 11, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Harry -- that isn't the ONLY way of paying down the debt. There are also the cuts to spending that are planned as well as the final pieces of the Affordable Care Act that result in reduced spending. But if you used common sense instead of jumped to conclusions you would know that. Thanks for the lesson on reading comprehension -- oh wait.
Roman Gabriel October 11, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Hey Marc, you lost all credibility when you whined that the funeral procession for murdered police officer Fox was going to alter your govt subsidized bus/train schedule. Unfortunately you were born with out a heart or compassion.
Marc Lombardi October 11, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Roman: For the record -- I wasn't whining about the procession or the funeral. I was merely stating that SEPTA (it's OK -- you can call them by name, it's not like we're talking about President Obama here) was not forthcoming on the information on how the detours would affect the route that I take to work. I paid my respects to the family of officer Fox and I made a contribution to the fund in his honor. So please don't try to spin anything about me not caring about the family. I know you're not the brightest bulb "Roman" but you should know I too intelligent to fall for any of that BS.
Roman Gabriel October 11, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Gee, i wonder how sincere your donation was ? Was it out of guilt for spending 3 days on Patch complaining about how the funeral may alter your route ? You only stopped when others told you to shut up and show some respect. I only remember you because I think your an ass for trying to look like Joey Merlino.
Marc Lombardi October 11, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Which one of us is being sincere? The one who posts under his real name and photo or the guy posting under a fake name and a fake picture?
Marc Lombardi October 11, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Virtually every single one of these pro-Rooney attack-ad-type commenters on here almost make me want to vote for Allyson Schwartz out of spite.
Marc Lombardi October 11, 2012 at 08:42 PM
John: See...THIS is what sticks with me. And this is what makes me agree that every time Schwartz hides from Rooney and refuses to debate it's like Romney refusing to release his tax forms. Whether or not she really IS too busy to do so, it's just making her look bad.
Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D. October 11, 2012 at 11:50 PM
@ Marc It's great to read that you haven't lost your touch...but, as in the past, you prompt the reader to "nudge" you from committing yourself to rhetorical excess. You start by recognizing Allyson is hiding from Joe and then--mysteriously--allow yourself to be dissuaded from maintaining your stance by chance-comments provided by former Eagles-QB Roman Gabriel. So, allow me to remind you that Allyson hasn't even held a Town Hall meeting during her decade-long Congressional tenure [to my knowledge, else I'd have made it my business to have attended]. She should feel some compulsion to interact with her constituents, eh?
Marc Lombardi October 12, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Welcome back, Doc! I was wondering what Tea Party Island you had self-banished yourself to for the past few months. Allow me to remind you that I have no intention of giving Schwartz my vote. Nor will I give my vote to Rooney. She has just as much a responsibility to interact with her constituents as she does to interact with he opponent. And if the voters don't like that then they have every right to choose someone else.
Harry October 12, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Mark....you proved my point....you cited Obamacare and other cuts....LOL....I mean really?....are you that naive?....The CBO has already indicated there WILL BE NO cuts....only increases.....so please, stop the dishonesty.....and yes....you found me!!!!....Wahooo!!!!!!.....Thanks for posting my FB page!!!!....I love the attention....
Marc Lombardi October 12, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Actually, I deleted that comment. You chose to remain semi anonymous for a reason. Who am I to disrespect that. So for that, I apologize. As for our political differences -- Obamacare is not a blank check that's going to just run up the debt. If you believe it is and that there are no cuts or savings due to the removal of redundant plans or the crackdowns on abuse then YOU'RE the one being naive.
Harry October 12, 2012 at 01:00 AM
Very respectful Mark....I apologize for calling you names....I was completely wrong....i could have made my point without behaving like that....
Joe Rooney October 12, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Gday Marc: I am interested in working with people who don't agree with me, but seem sincere. If you will help me set up a series of debates over the next few weeks give me a call/send me an email. I am not communicating via public comment lines. JR
Jamie Maerz October 12, 2012 at 01:14 PM
If Schwartz had a leg to stand on, then she would debate Rooney. She is afraid to debate him because she knows she is NOT a leader and she is NOT good for the economy. She ought to just throw in the towel now.
Abington Council of Civic Associations October 12, 2012 at 07:40 PM
There will be a Candidate Forum for the 13th Congressional District on Thursday, October 18th (State House candidates at 7:30pm, Congressional at 8:45pm). It will be at Brownstone at Sunrise of Abington, 1801 Susquehanna Road (near the intersection of Old York Road). This is the old Abington Schoolhouse. The event is sponsored by Rydal-Meadowbrook Civic Association and Abington Council of Civic Associations. Joe Rooney (R) agreed to participate from day one. Rep. Schwartz (D) has been aware of the forum since June and is encouraged to attend.
Marc Lombardi October 16, 2012 at 12:14 PM
If Schwartz is a no-show on this she loses a tremendous amount of respect in my eyes.
Suzanne W. October 18, 2012 at 04:56 PM
The only way to hold office holders accountable for their actions is to use your votes to send a message. Considering the complete lack of regard that Schwartz is showing for her opponent and her constituents who are interested in a debate of the issues, she is showing that she feels entitled to her office, and doesn't feel she has to earn it. For that reason alone she should lose this election. Then maybe she will appreciate the voters more. I suggest that anyone who isn't considering Rooney because of various issues should back him, even if it's just this once, so you can send a message to politicians who would represent you that you're not to be taken for granted and ignored. A vote for a non-viable candidate will allow Schwartz to continue on her merry way, ignoring her constituents and doing what is in her own personal interest rather than in the interest of the voters. Worse yet, it means your vote will be of even less value next time around.
Marc Lombardi October 18, 2012 at 05:08 PM
That's a bunch of B.S. Your vote matters whether it's for the winner or loser. Additionally, a vote does not lose significance in a later election because of the way you use it in this one. While I agree that Schwartz's apparent lack of caring to participate in any debate doesn't help her look good, I completely disagree that I should throw my support behind someone who disagrees with me on virtually every issue in order to send a message. I'd rather throw my support behind someone who will received 1% of the vote because I identify with their platform than vote for someone I don't agree with because they're more viable. THAT is when you are wasting your vote -- supporting someone whose ideals and politics do not mirror your own. We are voting for a representative, not a body. Thought should be put into where your vote is going.
Marc Lombardi October 19, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Looks like she failed to show. Looks like me decision not to vote for her remains valid.
Roman Garbiel On Meds October 20, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Oh Marc, I certainly apologize! I know now that so much of President Obama's presidency, and the vast majority of the debt those nasty republicans keep trying to blame him for, actually was due to the two wars Presiden Obama didn't start, that mr. bush did. But gosh golly, he sure is doing a great job of getting us out of them,yes sir ree bob! Anywho, he got Bin Ladin (even though in my clear headed state - i abhor violence, don't you know!)
Marc Lombardi October 22, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Wait a minute...I know a forum and a debate are two entirely different things (much like a Town Hall vs. a Debate) but why was this article written three days after both candidates spoke at the exact same place at the exact same time? http://montgomerynews.com/articles/2012/10/08/ambler_gazette/news/doc50734d3fbadaa615023066.txt
Marc Lombardi October 22, 2012 at 06:14 PM
You know what...here's the Patch article for the same event. http://abington.patch.com/articles/pa-13-candidates-face-off-in-forum It looks it wasn't even handled like a Town Hall meeting. Very odd. Especially where it mentions that Schwartz just leaves while Rooney is speaking.


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