Mysterious ‘Herbert is Trump’ signs appear in SLC

Posted at 5:20 PM, Oct 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-27 09:19:57-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- From Rose Park to Sugar House and everywhere in between, the city has been blanketed with signs proclaiming "Herbert is Trump."

It's an apparent effort to tie Republican Governor Gary Herbert, who enjoys a substantial lead over his Democratic opponent, to the GOP presidential candidate that Utah Republican leaders have sought to distance themselves from.

No one has claimed responsibility for the signs. They do not have any information about who paid for them or who installed them. Democratic candidate for governor Mike Weinholtz denied it was his campaign.

A sign that appeared in Salt Lake City declaring "Herbert is Trump." (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)

A sign that appeared in Salt Lake City declaring "Herbert is Trump." (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)

"Driving to our campaign office, I saw a number of them and was perplexed and couldn't figure out who would have done it, because I know our campaign didn't do it," he said in an interview Wednesday with FOX 13.

Weinholtz acknowledged his campaign has sought to link Herbert to Trump, but repeatedly insisted his campaign did not have anything to do with the signs. FOX 13 found a video on a "Mike for Utah" YouTube page titled "Herbert is Trump."

"We have used that language. Others have used it as well," Weinholtz said. "But we definitely didn't do the signs."

Herbert's re-election campaign called the signs part of the "political silly season."

"At worst I suppose it's the dirty politics that Utahns reject," said Herbert for Utah campaign manager Marty Carpenter. "At best it's just a ridiculous stunt."

Herbert did declare that he would vote for Trump, proclaiming his support for Trump's vice-presidential candidate, Mike Pence. However, after a video emerged showing Trump making crude comments about women, the governor said he would no longer vote for him. (So did a number of other high-profile Utah Republicans including Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Rep. Mia Love and Rep. Chris Stewart.)

"Governor Herbert has made it very clear that he does not intend to vote for either Donald Trump or Secretary Clinton, whom his opponent is support and stands 110 percent behind," Carpenter said.

Weinholtz said Herbert had basically endorsed Trump until the video emerged.

"That shows a lack of judgment," he said.