Donald Trump in Pittsburgh: “How’s Joe Paterno?”

Though it seemed like Donald Trump was walking about Joe Paterno the man, his campaign says he was actually talking about the Paterno statue.

Donald Trump was in Pittsburgh last night, rallying a large crowd in advance of the Pennsylvania primary later this month. As politicians do, he attempted to pander to local sports teams. In Philadelphia, pols have been telling us they gambled on Villanova and won their bracket pools because of it. In Pittsburgh last night, Trump mentioned … Joe Paterno!

“How’s Joe Paterno?” Trump said. “We gonna bring that back? How ’bout that whole deal?”

A Trump campaign spokesperson later told CNN that he meant the Joe Paterno statue, which was taken down in 2012 amid the Penn State child sex abuse scandal. “He was talking about the Penn State bronze statue that they melted down,” the spokeswoman said.

Make Paterno Alive Again - Donald Trump

Photo Illustration, obviously (Original photo by Gage Skidmore used under a Creative Commons license)

Additionally, the statue wasn’t melted down: That was an April Fools joke last year by writers at the Onward State blog. Penn State said the statue was being stored in a “secure location.”

It is extra funny that Trump said this in Pittsburgh and not State College. Though obviously many people in Pittsburgh go to Penn State, Pitt is the college football team the city roots for. Maybe he’s going to put the Joe Paterno statue up on Pitt’s campus, just to fool everyone!

Also, this is not the first time Trump has weighed in on Penn State football! He has offered a wide variety of opinions on the team and Paterno in the past.

A tweet mentioning Penn State that Trump retweeted in 2013 also told him to run for president in 2016! Basically, his entire campaign in Joe Paterno’s fault, I think.

To recap: It seemed like Donald Trump thought Joe Paterno was still alive, but he was actually talking about the Paterno statue. His campaign also released a statement that makes it seem like Trump thought the Paterno statue was melted down. All in all, a pretty good night for the Donald Trump campaign.

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