President Joe Biden handed control of Afghanistan back to the Taliban last month.
A former Republican state senator in Pennsylvania doesn’t want people to forget that.
Scott Wagner, who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2018, has purchased ad space on a dozen billboards in the Keystone State that feature a smiling Biden in Taliban garb and holding a shoulder-fired rocket launcher.
The slogan on the billboards says: “Making the Taliban Great Again.”
According to the York Daily Record, Wagner spent about $15,000 on the billboards.
The former senator told the paper he felt the need to speak out on Biden’s chaotic pullout from Afghanistan, which after troops left on Aug. 31 still left hundreds of American citizens and green-card holders under the control of the Taliban.
Wagner called that “an absolute mess and a tragedy.” “I was watching an evening news show one night and saw the Taliban in American personnel carriers,” he told the York paper. “It’s like Vietnam, even worse.”
While some Biden fans have complained, the state Transportation Department said the ads are protected by the First Amendment.
“Generally, advertising content is protected by the First Amendment under the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, if the advertising message is legal per State or Federal laws and regulation, recourse is not warranted” the agency said in a statement.
“While we understand the message on the … billboard may be unpleasant to some, it is our understanding that the message is legal. As such, the Department has no basis to require this message be changed.”
And in a comment rare for this age, Brian Scott, a vice president of Trone Outdoor Advertising, the company that owns the billboards, signaled that accepting Wagner’s message was apolitical.
“If someone wants us to put something up, we put it up,” Scott told the York paper. “We try to stay in the middle. … If someone wants to put up a billboard praising Joe Biden, we’ll do that.”
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