Donald Trump Causes Confusion With Question About Joe Paterno

Asks Pittsburgh crowd about Penn State's famous and deceased coach.
By Steven Klett
Steven Klett
Steven Klett
April 14, 2016 Updated: April 14, 2016

Donald Trump invoked the deceased Penn State’s famous football coach Joe Paterno at a rally in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on April 13, asking the crowd a question about the famous football coach:  

“How’s Joe Paterno?” Trump said, “Are we gonna bring that back? Right? … How about that whole deal?”

How’s Joe Paterno? Are we gonna bring that back? Right? … How about that whole deal?
— Donald Trump

Paterno died in January 2012, months after being dismissed following a child sex abuse scandal involving his Assistant Coach, Jerry Sandusky.

Twitter reacted with confusion, presuming that Trump had forgotten Paterno had died:

The Trump campaign clarified the question saying that Trump was not talking about Paterno himself, but the statue at Penn State that was controversially removed following the scandal.

“He was referring to the statue,” Trump’s press secretary Hope Hicks told following the speech. 

He was referring to the statue.
— Hope Hicks, Trump's Press Secretary

Trump’s call to reinstate the statue comes with a recent poll showing that a majority—59 percent of Pennsylvania adults—were in favor of putting the famous football coach’s statue back on the college campus.

The Pittsburgh rally had approximately 8,000 people, and Trump touted his connection to the state—Trump is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.   

Pennsylvania goes to the polls on April 26, and so far, recent polls show Trump with a commanding lead