YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — A giant billboard featuring President Joe Biden in a military outfit along with the phrase “Making the Taliban Great Again” recently showed up along Interstate 83 in Pennsylvania’s York County.
The billboard is operated by advertising company Trone Outdoor Advertising, which provides billboard advertising in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. The company is responsible for operating and organizing advertisements but is not responsible for what is included in the advertisements that are displayed.
“The individual that is responsible for the billboard is [former Pennsylvania State Senator] Scott Wagner. He gave us permission to make it known that he was responsible for the billboard,” Trone Outdoor Vice President Brian Scott said.
Wagner was elected in 2014 and served one term as a Pennsylvania state senator. He represented the 28th District in the state, which is a large portion of York County. He resigned in June of 2018 to run for governor as the Republican nominee, a race in which he lost to Gov. Tom Wolf.
“I saw the image [of Joe Biden,] I got it from a friend a few weeks ago. The picture tells the story. We pulled out of Afghanistan too quickly and we left so much of American equipment,” Wagner said when asked for comment. “Joe Biden has made us look like a fool. I feel so bad, words can’t describe what I would say to someone who was wounded or someone’s family who had a soldier pass away in the country after all this happened.”
WFLA’s sister station WHTM reached out to PennDOT for comment on the billboard. Spokesperson Fritzi Schrefflersent this statement:
“The Department permits such outdoor advertising to private entities through an application process, bound by law and regulation. Specifically, the Outdoor Advertising Control Act of 1971 (Federal Law) and Title 67, PA Code, Chapter 445 (PA Commonwealth Regulation) do not regulate or control billboard advertising content. Generally, advertising content is protected by the First Amendment under the US Constitution. Therefore, if the advertising message is legal per State or Federal laws and regulations, recourse is not warranted. While we understand the message on the Interstate 83 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.”