Kathy Barnette lashes out at GOP rivals at private event as hopeful spotlight on Pennsylvania Senate rises



CNN

Pennsylvania Senate candidate Kathy Barnette criticized her Republican primary rivals Saturday for being overly fixated on her soaring candidacy, according to the audio of a speech obtained by CNN, calling her main opponents “two globalists” who are only giving in to conservatives to get elected. to become.

The comments came at an event in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with Barnette and Republican governor candidate Doug Mastriano. Members of the media were not allowed to attend the event, but a participant in the event offered CNN a recording. This wasn’t the first time either candidate had banned journalists from events — both have consistently dodged reporters in the final days of their campaigns.

In her speech Saturday, Barnette referred to her two top opponents — celebrity surgeon Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund manager Dave McCormick — as fake conservatives.

“You have Mehmet Oz, who has never used his public platform to push anything from our America First agenda. He never has. And now we’re being told he’s a MAGA conservative. Never,” she said, before attacking McCormick for the ties the hedge fund he previously ran has with China. “You cannot be in bed with China financially if you are not also in bed with China ideologically. … And yet they tell us they are conservative. NB.”

McCormick on Friday depicted his work in China as “negotiating against” the country, adding that “no one has the credentials and the toughness to set foot in China like I do.”

Barnette also used part of her speech to comment on the way her opponents and their super PACs have portrayed the rising candidate. A CNN fact-check of an anti-Barnette ad by the American Leadership Action, a pro-Oz super PAC, found that it “wildly distorts the candidate’s past comments and views” by tying her to the Black Lives Matter movement and beliefs about systemic racism in the police force.

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“The swamp isn’t just Democrats. I don’t know if you know that,” Barnette said in her speech, referring to the “drain the swamp” message that became popular during former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, who supported Oz. “You can tell by what they do to me. Everything I have said about myself I have not exaggerated, not embellished. I have been very progressive. I’ve been running for 13 months, but these people are acting like I crawled out from under a rock yesterday.”

She added: “Look at that video they did, right? I have never supported Black Lives Matter. I never said our country was systematically racist. In fact, I’ve always said the opposite, I’ve always said my story shows you how far we’ve come as a nation.”

Trump’s endorsement of Oz has sparked backlash from conservative activists in Pennsylvania, some of whom have drawn to Barnette over the former president’s decision.

Trump said in a statement Thursday that Barnette was not a viable candidate for the election.

“Kathy Barnette will never win the general election against the radical left Democrats,” he said.

Barnette also got into a discussion on Saturday focusing on her previous tweets. A CNN report found that her tweets and past appearances contain anti-Muslim and anti-gay statements and push the false conspiracy theory that former President Barack Obama is a Muslim. He is a Christian.

“Nobody is talking about my old tweets,” she said. “They have to go back almost 10 years in the past to … not find a complete thought or sentence and say that this is who she is.”

Barnette also attacked Fox host Sean Hannity, who had Oz on his show, asking him about some of her previous tweets. She told the audience that Hannity is “doing exactly what he and others have said about the left, sowing disinformation to suppress our vote, to steal an election. That’s exactly what they do.”

Polls show Barnette rises sharply in Republican Senate primaries. A Fox poll released this week found all three candidates — Oz, McCormick and Barnette — virtually right, sparking consternation and concern among Republicans who believe Barnette could be a wildcard in November.

Barnette objected to that assumption on Saturday, arguing that the Republican Party often makes mistakes when choosing nominees.

“I believe the Republican Party has the best story. … We keep choosing people who are bad at telling our story. We do,” she said. “We pick the same old, same old people over and over, thinking we’re going to get a different result.”

Speaking of the criticism of her, she added: “Their problem with me is that I didn’t ask for permission. I didn’t ask for permission. I just walked through the front door.”

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