Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Attacks dominate Pennsylvania Senate GOP primary debate

Harrisburg, Pa. ( Associated Press) — What could be the final primary debate between Republicans running for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat developed into a series of attacks on China, abortion and more as candidates widely debated Wednesday night. Extended for any perceived benefit from – open and expensive running.

In many cases, the five candidates blew questions in favor of repeatedly talking and attacking rivals during hours-long debates.

The attackers often tried to sever business ties with China by former hedge fund CEO David McCormick and Mehmet Oz, known as a celebrity turned heart surgeon and host of Daytime TV’s “The Dr. Oz Show”. Is.

Despite being in the spotlight in the wake of a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion, abortion posed a question in the debate, which suggested the court’s conservative majority was in the historic 1973 Roe v. Wade’s decision to legalize abortion nationwide.

The candidates called themselves “pro-life” and Roe v. Wade’s reversal, but none directly answered the only question on abortion: do candidates support any exceptions to abortion and if they have changed their opinion over the years.

Instead, McCormick and conservative activist Kathy Barnett tried to portray Oz as insufficiently loyal to the anti-abortion cause due to comments on a 2019 radio show in which Oz said most people would have been in 1973’s Roe v. Wade supports the standard set in opinion. This standard prohibits abortion after the fetus is viable outside the gestational age of about 24 weeks.

On “The Breakfast Club” morning show on New York’s WWPR-FM, Oz said he doesn’t want anyone in his family to have an abortion and that the idea of ​​banning abortion is criticized simply because Heart palpitations are detected – which usually occurs at around six weeks of pregnancy.

He also criticized the broader fight over abortion and suggested that states that ban abortions would see businesses fleeing the state.

In the debate, Oz insisted he is pro-life and said that “life begins at conception,” a talking point for anti-abortion groups that want to ban abortion of any diagnosed pregnancy.

Barnett has specific information on the subject: She told the story to be the product of rape when her mother was 11, and repeated that story in debate.

“I wasn’t just a lump of cells,” Barnett said. “As you can see, I’m still not a lump of cells.”

The primary is May 17, leaving candidates with less than two weeks to set themselves apart as spending in the Republican primary exceeds an eye-popping $60 million.

The debate was sponsored by the conservative broadcaster Newsmax and was held in a packed auditorium at a private Christian school at Grove City College in northwestern Pennsylvania.

Oz has been endorsed by Donald Trump and is attending a rally with the former president in western Pennsylvania on Friday.

Meanwhile, McCormick’s former President George W. There are significant establishment ties to go back to his service at the highest ranks of Bush’s administration.

At other points, Oz and Bartos suggest that McCormick’s former hedge fund is responsible for billions in debt at the state’s largest public pension fund, which began accumulating two decades ago amid a market downturn and inadequate contributions by the state. Was.

In fact, hedge funds — while making nearly $700 million in fees going back in 2004 — often exceeded expectations on their investments, according to pension system executives.

Barnett, at another point, called McCormick and Oz “globalists” and tried to link them to the World Economic Forum – which has been the subject of right-wing conspiracy theories.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Oz told Barnett.

“Globalist” is a pejorative term, adopted by Trump and others in his class to refer to an elite, international congregation that does not serve America’s best interests.


For full midterm coverage, follow the Associated Press on Twitter at APnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections and at twitter.com/ap_politics.


Follow Mark Levy on Twitter at twitter.com/timelywriter

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


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