Corbett says he’s not to blame for Dems’ domination

A big, blue tidal wave rolled across Pennsylvania Tuesday night. Democrats went five-for-five in their statewide efforts.

President Obama, check. Senator Casey, check. Attorney General Kathleen Kane, check. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, check. Treasurer Rob McCord, check.

Make that checkmate. But Pennsylvania's top Republican, Governor Tom Corbett, says the Democrats' dominance was not a referendum on him or his policies. He said it's more likely the very long coattails of incumbent President Barack Obama.

“You know, everybody wants to blame somebody,” Corbett said. “How about give credit to people who ran campaigns and won? They won. Let's move forward.”

Forward for Corbett means incoming attorney general Kane, who's promised to investigate Corbett's handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse case. Corbett says he's not nervous about that investigation, but bristles at the suggestion.

“Anybody can come in and sit down and Monday morning quarterback decisions, okay? But there has to be, for a true investigation, there has to some criminal act,” he said. “I know I didn't commit any criminal act. None. Zero. The Democratic Party that's been trying to use this  can say all they want. They can't get away from the fact that it was 45 of 48 counts and it was based on the fact that we had all those witnesses. This is the first investigation I've ever heard of to look into a successful prosecution. I think the people ought to look at that and say 'hmm, is that investigation political in nature?'”

Corbett says he spoke with Kane by phone Thursday and talked about the importance of a good relationship between the governor's office and the attorney general's office.

“I congratulated her on her win and told her I look forward to working with her,” he said.

Corbett also said he's moving forward with plans to privatize the state lottery. The commonwealth is seeking bids from companies that want to run it.

“We've said from day one we're gonna see what all we can privatize,” Corbett said. “You know what I want to privatize is the LCB (state liquor store system). We ought to be out of that business, but that requires legislation. The lottery doesn't require legislation.”

Democratic lawmakers aren't so sure about that and they are criticizing the governor for moving forward with a plan that doesn't include their input and oversight.

The next big election in the state will be Corbett's in two years. He said his plan now is to run for re-election, though he reiterated it was not a formal announcement. If he's nervous about what Tuesday's results portend for him and his party, he's not showing it.

But Corbett did offer one take-away, albeit an obvious one.

“The Republican Party, we need to do better with minorities. We need to do better with women. That's clear,” he said.

What's not so clear is whether Corbett will cruise to re-election like every single governor since Milton Shapp, or if he will become the first one-termer since Pennsylvania began allowing governors to run for two.

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