Katie McGinty, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, is facing criticism for claiming on multiple occasions that she was the first person in her family to go to college.
The internet media company BuzzFeed pointed to three past statements by her on the subject.
In a January Associated Press story, she was quoted as saying, “As the ninth of 10 kids and the first in my family to go to college, I’ve been privileged to live the American dream.”
In a Feb. 25 Facebook post, she wrote, “I was the first in my family to go to college, and I did so with the help of a scholarship.”
In an April 23 speech at an NAACP candidates forum, she said, “Even though I was number nine, I was the very first one to go to college in my family.”
BuzzFeed cited commencement records that show her brother, John McGinty, graduated from La Salle in 1973. John P. McGinty’s LinkedIn account listed him as having attended La Salle from 1970–73, after attending Community College of Philadelphia from 1968–70. His Facebook page also lists him as a member of the La Salle class of ’73 and as a member of the Temple University class of 1978, where he got a master’s in education.
Katie McGinty, a Rhawnhurst native who attended Resurrection of Our Lord and St. Hubert, entered St. Joseph’s University in 1981.
PolitiFact Pennsylvania has rated her claim of being the first member of her family to go to college as “Pants on Fire.”
“Clearly Katie McGinty is willing to compromise anything – — including her family and her integrity – — if it makes for a good soundbite,” said Amelia Chasse, America Rising political action committee press secretary.
The McGinty campaign issued the following statement from John McGinty:
“The way that Katie and our family have always talked about our experience is she was the first of the 10 McGinty kids to attend and graduate from a four-year college, straight out of high school. We were all really proud of that, just as we were proud that I earned my degree by completing a two-year program and then enrolling in La Salle. And we’re prouder still that Katie wants to actually do something about college costs and debt for families like ours — unlike our current senator, who voted to cut Pell grants and let interest on student debt double.”
Still, the state Republican Party continues to fault her.
“If she’s this comfortable lying to Pennsylvanians as a candidate, how could we trust her in elected office?” asked Pennsylvania GOP communications director Megan Sweeney.
McGinty is challenging Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, whose campaign noted that McGinty also made her claim of being the first in her family to go to college to NBC 10 @ Issue and in interview with PAMatters and the Off Road Politics Podcast of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
“If Katie McGinty can’t even tell the truth about her own life story, then how can Pennsylvania voters trust her on anything?” said Toomey spokesman Ted Kwong. ••