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Kathy Barnette slams GOP rivals at closed-door event as spotlight on Pennsylvania Senate hopeful intensifies

The comments came at an event in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with Barnette and Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano. Members of the media were not permitted to attend the event, but an event attendee offered a recording to CNN. It was not the first time either candidate had barred reporters from attending events – both consistently dodged reporters in the final days of their campaigns.
In his speech on Saturday, Barnette cast his two main opponents – famed surgeon Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund manager Dave McCormick – as bogus conservatives.

“You have Mehmet Oz, who has never used his public platform to advance any of our America First programs. He never has. And now we are being told he is a MAGA conservative . Ever,” she said, before attacking McCormick for ties to the hedge fund he previously ran in China. “You can’t be in bed with China financially if you’re not also in bed with China ideologically. … And yet they tell us they’re conservative. Be careful.”

McCormick described his work in China on Friday as “negotiating against” the country, adding that “nobody has the credentials and the strength to take on China like me.”

Barnette also used part of his speech to respond to how his opponents and their super PACs portrayed the rising candidate. A CNN fact check of an anti-Barnette ad by American Leadership Action, a pro-Oz super PAC, found that it “grossly misrepresents past remarks and positions” of the candidate by linking her to the movement and to Black Lives Matter beliefs about systemic racism in policing.
“The swamp isn’t just made up of Democrats. I don’t know if you know that,” Barnette said in his speech, referring to the “drain the swamp” message made popular during the former’s 2016 campaign. President Donald Trump, who endorsed Oz. “You can see it with what they do to me. Everything I said about myself, I didn’t exaggerate, I didn’t embellish. I’ve been very open. I’ve been running for 13 months, but these people are acting like I just crawled under a rock yesterday.”

She added: “Look at this video they made, right? I never supported Black Lives Matter. I never said our country was systemically racist. In fact, I always said otherwise, I always said my story just shows you how far we’ve come as a nation.”

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

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

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

Barnette also took issue with the emphasis on her past tweets on Saturday. A CNN report revealed that his tweets and past appearances included anti-Muslim and anti-gay statements and pushed the false conspiracy theory that former President Barack Obama is a Muslim. He is a Christian.

“Nobody talks about my old tweets,” she said. “They have to go back almost 10 years to find…not a full thought or sentence and say that’s who she is.”

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

Polls showed Barnette surging in the Republican Senate primary. A Fox poll released this week had the three candidates – Oz, McCormick and Barnette – in a virtual tie, causing consternation and concern among Republicans who believe Barnette could be a wild card in November.

Barnette challenged that assumption on Saturday, arguing that the Republican Party often makes mistakes in choosing candidates.

“I believe the Republican Party has the best story. … We keep picking people who can’t tell our story. We do,” she said. “We keep picking the same old, same old, thinking we’re going to get a different result.”

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

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