Wagner thanks John Oliver for free advertising

David Weissman

State senator and gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner was criticized during HBO's most recent episode of "Last Week Tonight," but he just appreciates the free publicity.

Sen. Scott Wagner, R-Spring Garden Township, posted a video Tuesday thanking HBO's John Oliver for putting his picture and name on national television.

Wagner posted a short video Tuesday on his campaign Facebook page thanking the show's host, John Oliver, for "putting my picture and my name on national TV" and saving him "probably $1 million in media advertising."

The Spring Garden Township Republican began the video holding up a copy of Tuesday's edition of The York Dispatch, which included the headline "Wagner's climate stance ridiculed on HBO program" on the front page.

During Sunday's show, Oliver was slamming President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord. He said residents now need to turn to their local representatives for support in addressing climate change.

"Maybe you'll get lucky; maybe yours is great," Oliver said. "Or maybe you live in Pennsylvania and you're represented by state Sen. Scott Wagner, who has an interesting theory for what might be causing global warming."

The show then cut to an audio clip of Wagner, R-Spring Garden Township, speaking to a reporter about climate change after giving a speech to natural gas advocates.

"The earth moves closer to the sun every year," Wagner said. "We have more people. You know, humans have warm bodies, so is heat coming off? We're just going through a lot of change, but I think we are, as a society, doing the best we can."

Oliver pointed out that the Earth does move closer to the sun and then further away — "because that is what a f---ing year is" — and our body heat is not warming the planet.

"And we are clearly not doing the best we can because we keep putting idiots like Scott Wagner in positions of power," Oliver said.

John Oliver pokes fun at Wagner on 'Last Week Tonight'

Wagner said in his response video that he was sure Oliver and his "super liberal viewers got a big laugh of us, all of us down here in flyover country in Pennsylvania," but he added that he would love to come on Oliver's show sometime.

"You and I could have a lot of fun," he said.

Reached Monday morning, Wagner asked who Oliver was and said he hadn't seen the show. However, he said, as long as the host spelled and pronounced his named correctly, he was fine with it.

Wagner added that he was supportive of Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris agreement because former President Barack Obama had signed the accord without congressional approval.

In the midst of campaigning for the 2018 Republican nomination for governor, Wagner declined to comment further on any action he would take on climate change if elected except to say that he's been doing a lot of research.

— Reach David Weissman at dweissman@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @DispatchDavid.