While David McCormick and Mehmet Oz have been focused on attacking each other in what is sure to be a nail-biter of a GOP senatorial race in Pennsylvania, an unlikely third contender has entered the frame: Kathy Barnette.
As The Daily Beast reports, Barnette’s only political experience “is a landslide congressional defeat in 2020,” so she’s hardly a household name. But she’s quickly becoming one, as McCormick, Oz, and even Donald Trump have witnessed her seemingly-out-of-nowhere rise and are clearly afraid. On Thursday, the former president even issued a press release in an attempt to get the MAGAites he created back on his side, which is Team Oz, but left room for the possibility of befriending the political newcomer if she does indeed succeed in her senatorial campaign. According to Trump:
“Kathy Barnette will never be able to win the General Election against the Radical Left Democrats. She has many things in her past which have not been properly explained or vetted, but if she is able to do so, she will have a wonderful future in the Republican Party—and I will be behind her all the way. Dr. Oz is the only one who will be able to easily defeat the Crazed, Lunatic Democrat in Pennsylvania. A vote for anyone else in the Primary is a vote against Victory in the Fall!”
Similarly, Sean Hannity spent the bulk of his air time on Thursday going after Barnette, whom many describe as an “Ultra-MAGA,” and the many reasons why she would be bad for America. But as far as Barnette is concerned, the fact that her name is even coming out of their mouths is a good thing. “I think I see it as a badge of honor,” Barnette said. “They’re actually paying attention to me.”
Ironically, Barnette’s many bad takes echo the MAGAest of MAGA sentiments. Hannity criticized the 50-year-old author of Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: Being Black and Conservative in America for her attacks on Muslims and her belief that Barack Obama is a Muslim, while Donald Trump has regularly made similar claims. As The Daily Beast wrote:
Barnette’s recent rise has been powered in the primary in part by a video in which she lays out her background as the product of her then 11-year-old mother’s rape to argue for sweeping restrictions on abortion, including in cases of rape. But Barnette’s story may have inspired Republican voters, her hardline stance against abortion even in the case of rape might not play so well in the general election. Other potential general-election weaknesses included her ties to Jan. 6, her attacks on Muslims and LGBT people, her campaign’s unwillingness to discuss her background, and her flirtations with QAnon.
While Barnette was in D.C. on January 6th, she claims that she did not infiltrate the Capitol, then later tweeted that the reports of riots on that day were a hoax—then denied calling it a hoax. When a local reporter reminded her that she had actually tweeted those words, she claimed she did not recall doing that. And added that, “No, January 6 was a day, and what happened, happened, on that particular day.”’
Are we sure Trump doesn’t want to change his endorsement?
(Via The Daily Beast)