Harrisburg, Pa. ( Associated Press) — Sensing danger in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race, Donald Trump issued a warning Thursday that rising Republican nominee Kathy Barnett would increase his chances of capturing the GOP seat in November and sway his choice from voters, Celebrity urged to support the heart. Surgeon Mehmet Oz.
The former president’s statement echoed growing panic among his aides and Barnett’s rivals over the sudden and unexpected escalation ahead of Tuesday’s primary in the state.
Barnett “will never win” in a general election match against the Democrats, Trump said in a statement, adding that Oz is “the only one” who can beat the Democratic nominee.
Later, at a telephone townhall with Oz, Trump criticized Barnett for losing the 2020 congressional race — by nearly 20 percentage points, in an overwhelmingly Democratic district — and said he had never heard of her.
Trump said, “And the problem is nobody knows what he stands for, who he is and it’s very risky because you’re going to win it with Oz and you’re not going to win it with another candidate.” are.”
The seat opens with the retirement of second-term Republican Sen. Pat Tomei and is seen as the best opportunity for Democrats to take a seat in the closely divided Senate this year.
Trump’s attacks reflected an 11th-hour behind-the-scenes campaign by Trump’s aides and rival campaigns to discredit Barnett, even though he campaigned as a supporter of the former president and at large with promoters of his lies. Voter fraud won him. 2020 election.
Earlier on Thursday, Barnett made the rounds of conservative broadcasters, suggesting on “The Water Cooler with David Brody” that Trump is attacking her because he knows she is going to win.
“It looks like the president knows what’s going to happen next Tuesday,” Barnett said.
He also repeated his campaign trail attacks on Oz and another candidate, hedge fund CEO David McCormick, criticizing their funding and questioning their credentials as conservatives.
“Now we have the opportunity where people are raising their voices about the kind of leadership they want – and they don’t want to spoon-feed two globalists, because many influential people within the Republican Party are trying to sell us, They want a real conservative,” Barnett said.
Democrats are deciding between a four-person field including the state’s elected lieutenant governor, John Fetterman, three-time U.S. Representative Conor Lamb, and state Representative Malcolm Kenyatta. Coming from the progressive wing of the party, Fetterman has led elections and fundraising.
Pennsylvania’s Republican Senate primary was primarily a costly duel between Oz, best known as the host of daytime TV’s “The Dr. Oz Show”, and McCormick.
Then, a surprising Fox News poll released Monday suggested a tight, three-way race with Barnett who, if elected, would be the first black Republican woman to serve in the US Senate.
The poll found that 22% of GOP primary voters supported Oz, with McCormick and Barnett bunching together at 20% and 19%. About one-fifth or 18 percent of voters said they were undecided.
Despite Trump’s attack on Barnett, elements of the party’s establishment were more accepting of Barnett, acknowledging that many Republican voters were not sold on either Oz or McCormick.
Vince Galko, a Republican strategist, said he had a strong showing in recent TV debates, a fearless personality and “can make people win”.
Prior to Thursday, Trump was silent about Barnett, only attacking McCormick.
This has changed sharply in recent days after major support for Barnett perhaps reflects concerns in some conservative and pro-Trump circles that Oz doesn’t adequately reflect his views on abortion, guns or the culture wars against Democrats. does.
The anti-tax Club for Growth supported Barnett on Wednesday and has begun airing TV commercials.
The day before, anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List decided to return Barnett to Oz.
Despite his warnings, Trump said Barnett would have his full support if she wins the nomination.
Barnett, Trump said, “there are many things in his past that haven’t been properly explained or investigated, but if he’s able to do so, he’ll have a great future in the Republican Party — and I’ll be behind him all the way.” “
Still, Barnett has a history of statements that are hostile about Muslims and homosexuals, some of which trace back to a Christian-themed blog and radio he once hosted before running for office. Whether, speeches he gave as a Christian activist or on social media.
He has also endorsed Doug Mastriano, the candidate for governor in Pennsylvania’s larger Republican primary field, a prominent peddler of Trump’s unfounded claims about widespread electoral fraud.
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