Monday, March 20, 2023

Candidates in the hospital, others scrambling before the primary

Harrisburg, Pa. ( Associated Press) — The last day of vigorous campaigning for the governor of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Senate began Monday with a top Senate candidate in hospital and Republicans trying to block the victory of those they worry will be ineligible for election. decline.

John Fetterman, who conducted elections and fundraising in the Democratic Party’s primary for the US Senate, remains in hospital on Monday after suffering a stroke. just before the weekend.

His campaign said he would not appear at Tuesday’s election night party in Pittsburgh, although Fetterman said on Sunday that he was feeling better, expected to make a full recovery and resume campaigning after taking some rest. will start with.

Meanwhile, new assault ads are circulating against late Republican US Senate candidate Cathy Barnett. Many in the Republican Party establishment have begun to try to bolster their support to prevent Doug Mastriano from winning the party’s gubernatorial nomination on the presidential battlefield.

Some Republicans fear that Barnett and Maastriano are too polarizing to defeat Democratic opponents in a general election. Barnett and Maastriano have campaigned together, supported each other and promoted conspiracy theories, including former President Donald Trump’s lie that widespread voter fraud cost them the 2020 election.

The scrambling reflects the high stakes and uncertainty of Tuesday’s election in Pennsylvania that fueled the campaign in the past week amid reports of Fetterman’s hospitalization and last-minute jockeys in the Republican primaries for governor and the US Senate.

In the gubernatorial race, an organization that is reported to have spent nearly $13 million promoting Republican nominee Bill McSwain, a lawyer who was Donald Trump’s appointee for the US Attorney General in Philadelphia, nearly two days before the election. changed his allegiance to former Congressman Lou Barletta.

The Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs, a business advocacy group whose political action committees are conditioned for cash from billionaire Jeffrey Yass, said it believes Barretta has the best chance of beating Mastroiano. The group is now calling on McSwan to leave and support Barletta.

Maastriano, recently endorsed by TrumpAttempts by Republicans to defeat him thwarted and portrayed Democrats, including President Joe Biden, as left-wing extremists.

“The swamps hit back, but they hit and they failed, they missed, and Donald Trump came in the middle of their plot with each other’s swamp-like creatures and backed me up and cut legs out from under them,” Maastriano said. . An interview on Monday that he streamed online with the Light of Liberty podcast.

Meanwhile, in the hard-fought Republican primary for the U.S. Senate, Barnett worked to stem mounting attacks from former hedge fund CEO David McCormick and heart surgeon-turned-TV celebrity Mehmet Oz, a candidate backing Trump.,

Barnett said Monday on conservative Breitbart radio that “I am not a globalist, they are both” and that he has “very strong ties to the World Economic Forum”, an organization that has been the subject of right-wing conspiracy theories. ,

“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.

She also suggested on Breitbart radio that she would not support Oz or McCormick if she won the primary, adding that “I have no intention of supporting the Globalists.”

Trump’s endorsement of both Maastriano and Oz has turned Pennsylvania’s Republican establishment into contradictions, as some have warned that Maastriano is far from right to defeat Democrat Josh Shapiro in the general election.

Trump himself has warned that Barnett may not win in the fall – yet Maastriano is campaigning with him. Together, Maastriano and Barnett have spent a fraction of their rivals’ money.

With elections showing a boom of late for Barnett, Trump’s attacks reflected an eleventh-hour behind-the-scenes scramble by Trump allies and rival campaigns to discredit him. If elected, she would be the first black Republican woman to serve in the Senate.

On Monday, the Oz campaign sent a 90-second robocall to Republican voters, with Trump urging them to vote for Oz and attacking McCormick and Barnett, saying “not the candidates who put America first, Trump is named for his government philosophy.

In addition to new attack ads targeting Barnett on TV, he is being asked about his history of inflammatory comments, including derogatory comments about Muslims and homosexuals, and contradictory statements about the length of his previous military service. He voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election. main.

“Understanding Kathy Barnett is confusing. Every time she answers a question, she raises a whole lot more,” Oz said on “The Brian Kilmed Show” on Fox News Radio.

Barnett, speaking on KDKA-AM radio in Pittsburgh on Monday, laughed at the attacks as a product of Republican “swamp”.

“They’re really crazy and they’re pulling all the stops,” she said.

She said her Islamophobic tweets were taken out of context.

McCormick, a decorated US Army combat veteran who has strong ties to the party establishment going back to his service in President George W. Bush’s administration, has also been repeatedly criticized by Trump in recent days.

Still, McCormick is kicking off the campaign by airing a 2020 TV ad showing a video clip of Trump at a private ceremony, congratulating McCormick, saying, “You’ve helped our country in so many different ways.” Good service.”

“You know why they said that,” McCormick says in the TV commercial. “Because it’s true. I risked my life for America and I’ll do it again in a heartbeat. … I’m a Pro-Life, Pro-Gun, America First Conservative and I’m proud of it.”


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