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Barnette Is In The Fight of Her Political Life as Primary Day Nears

Kathy Barnette is in the fight for her political life. And she knows it.

“The knives are out,” she told Delaware Valley Journal Friday. “They are scared and mad.”

Since advancing into a three-way tie in the GOP’s U.S. Senate primary, the Huntington Valley resident has been the target of a barrage of negative attacks and commentary. An article in the Washington Examiner that asked who Barnette was unleashed a floodgate of what her GOP critics call “vetting.”

In response, Barnette took to local radio to answer questions about her hometown in Alabama, her military experience, and her previous employment. She even posted pictures of her military discharge papers on Twitter.

An author and conservative commentator, Barnette is active in the pro-life movement and homeschooled her two children.

She has also made controversial statements in the past that some Republicans fear could cost the party a winnable Senate seat in November’s general election. They point to articles she wrote attacking what she called “the homosexual AGENDA,” and tweets many consider Islamophobic — including calls to ban Islam from the United States and suggesting that former President Barack Obama was a Muslim.

In response, Barnette pointed out the Muslim-related tweets were from 2015 or 2016, at a time when Obama allowed large numbers of Syrian refugees into the country.  She said the FBI director acknowledged there was no way to determine the background or views of those refugees.

“I am not against Muslims or any individual,” she said.  “I am against radical Islamic terrorism. Clearly, not all Muslims are radical.”

Her critics took short tweets where “clearly not all the thoughts are complete sentences, taking half of what is being written and adding a narrative,” said Barnette.

As for tweets that seemed homophobic or against transsexuals, Barnette said those were also not “whole thoughts.” However, she said, she is against teaching young children in kindergarten through third grade about sexual matters and she opposes girls competing in sports against biological males.

“They are just taking a portion of what I said,” Barnette added. “I would never be cruel to anyone.”

She is particularly incensed that Fox radio and television host Sean Hannity has joined the attacks. He interviewed her either on radio or television about seven times, she said, and never asked her about her military record. But now that Hannity is supporting Dr. Mehmet Oz, he is attacking her, she said.

“His horse in the race is not going to win, so he’s going after me,” Barnette said.

Hannity could not immediately be reached for comment.

Barnette also pushed back on heavily-edited videos claiming to show she is a racist who does not like White people and that she supports the Black Lives Matter organization. She says the opposite is true.

“I am hiding nothing,” said Barnette, who noted she has been campaigning for 13 months for the nomination to the Senate and during that time she was largely ignored by much of the media. She also ran for Congress in 2020.

What changed is that she is now in a statistical dead heat with Oz and Dave McCormick, a hedge fund CEO. Both men have spent millions on the race, and their Super PACs have spent even more running attack ads, according to Barnette.

“They are scared and mad,” said Barnette. “They spent over $60 million.” Oz and McCormick, who Barnette refers to as “carpetbaggers” who moved to Pennsylvania from other states to run for office, participated in very few debates or forums while she has traveled the state attending all of them.

Barnette, who is running as an outspoken Trump supporter, was hit with one of the former president’s now-infamous anti-endorsements on Thursday. “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,” Trump said.

“I don’t expect (Trump) to retract his endorsement of Oz,” said Barnette. And her response to Trump’s statement?

“I look forward to working with the president come Wednesday,” she said.

And Barnette has since picked up the endorsements of the Club for Growth and the Susan B. Anthony List, two major players in Republican politics.

As for Oz and McCormick, “I chose to focus on Pennsylvania and Pennsylvanians and they chose to focus on each other,” she said.

“This is politics,” said Barnette about the last-minute attacks against her. “This is the reason why good people don’t go into politics. Look at what they’re doing.”

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PODCAST: Dr. Oz Abuzz Over Trump Endorsement. Pot? Not So Much.

On the latest edition of the Delaware Valley Journal podcast, U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Oz joins News Editor Linda Stein to talk about getting the backing of former President Donald Trump and what it means to his campaign. He also pushes back on attack ads from GOP primary opponent Dave McCormick and makes his case for the right way to handle gender fluidity/transgender issues with children.

And, Dr. Oz says, while he’s a supporter of medical marijuana, he’s never tried pot himself.


Hosted by Michael Graham.


Update: Trump Endorses Dr. Oz, Shakes Up PA Senate Campaign

In a potentially game-changing move in Pennsylvania’s crowded Republican U.S. Senate primary, former President Donald Trump endorsed reality TV celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz Saturday.

“This is all about winning elections in order to stop the Radical Left maniacs from destroying our country,” Trump said in his statement. Oz is “pro-life, very strong on crime, the border, election fraud, our great military and our vets, tax cuts and will always fight for and support our under-siege Second Amendment,” Trump added.

“Dr. Oz is smart, tough and will never let you down, therefore he has my complete and total endorsement.”

Oz is engaged in a high-profile campaign ad war with former hedge fund exec David McCormick, who has his own connections to Trump and had clearly hoped he would get the former president’s backing. McCormick’s wife, Dina Powell, served as a deputy national security adviser in the Trump administration.

But it may have been Trump’s wife, Melania, who had the most influence. A source close to Trump told NBC News, “The first lady has let the president know that she likes Dr. Oz. And that matters.”

Oz thanked Trump for his support.

“Everyone, especially David McCormick – a pro-China, Wall Street insider, wanted this endorsement. But President Trump wisely endorsed me because I’m a conservative who will stand up to Joe Biden and the woke left,” Oz said in a statement.

“As Pennsylvania’s next senator, I will defend America First policies,” said Oz. “I will fight to unleash American energy, protect our Second Amendment, and drain the swamp of Washington insiders. I will be a powerful pro-life voice in the Senate, and I will protect our children from harmful woke indoctrination. And no one will fight harder against the radical policies of Joe Biden that are causing inflation, creating a crisis at our border, and weakening our position around the world.

“President Trump knows how critical it is to change the kinds of people we send to Washington. I’m ready to fight. I thank him for that, and I am proud to receive his endorsement,” Oz concluded.

GOP political strategists say it’s good news, but the race is hardly over.

“The Trump endorsement absolutely helps the undecided crowd who wanted Trump’s opinion before making their decision,” said Pennsylvania-based GOP strategist Charlie O’Neill. “However, I wouldn’t call the race yet. With five weeks to go, anything can happen. Oz and McCormick have spent millions defining each other, which has certainly had an effect on polling. Trump’s endorsement adds a new line of messaging for Oz he hopes will be a final blow. However, I don’t anticipate any of McCormick’s endorsements from former Trump officials to go anywhere, and he’ll continue to lean on them.

Bottom line: It’s a great day for Dr. Oz, but I don’t see McCormick going anywhere,” O’Neill said.

Not everyone in Trumpworld is happy with the president’s decision. Steve Bannon, who served as Trump’s White House chief strategist, is no fan of Dr. Oz, as he expressed in a recent podcast: “How does Dr. Oz, probably the most anti-MAGA guy, and you got Fox nonstop pimping this guy out and Newsmax pimping this guy out, and that’s what it is — how does Dr. Oz, from New Jersey, [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan’s buddy, floating in from Jersey, how does he become a factor in a Senate race in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania?”

And conservative columnist Kurt Schlicter called Oz “a squish at best.”

“In the off chance he gets elected, he would make Mitt Romney seem like Lauren Boebert.”

In his announcement Saturday, Trump repeated a theme he has mentioned several times regarding Oz’s candidacy: His appeal to women voters thanks to his TV persona. “Women, in particular, are drawn to Dr. Oz for his advice and counsel. I have seen this many times over the years. They know him, believe in him, and trust him.”

McCormick’s campaign responded to the Delaware Valley Journal’s request for a comment with a link to a from Jeff Roe tweet: “@DaveMcCormickPA is going to be the next Senator from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

In response, Jon Cooper @joncoopertweets said, “Florida man endorses New Jersey man for Pennsylvania Senate seat.”

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Early Polls Have Dr. Oz, Former Congressman Lou Barletta on Top With GOP Voters

The Trafalgar Group has consistently been one of the most accurate pollsters in American politics, predicting President Trump’s shocking victory in 2016. And their new poll of the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate GOP primary finds that, at the moment, it’s the Dr. Oz Show.

And former Congressman Lou Barletta holds a narrow 4-point lead over state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin) in the governor’s race.

The poll, which has a 2.99 percent margin of error, sampled 1,070 voters likely to vote in the 2022 Republican primary.

The Senate race has Dr. Mehmet Oz in the lead with 27.4 percent of the vote, followed by hedge fund manager Dave McCormick, with 15.9 percent. Former ambassador Carla Sands was third with 14.8 percent, followed by Fox News personality and author Kathy Barnette at 8.9 percent and Montgomery County real estate developer Jeff Bartos at 6.6 percent.

Montgomery County lawyer Sean Gale had 1.9 percent, Philadelphia lawyer George Bochetto had 1.6 percent, and investigator Everette Stern garnered 1.5 percent.

However, 21.6 percent of the respondents said they still haven’t decided how they’re going to vote in the May 17 primary.

“Dr. Oz’s no-nonsense, fighter mentality has Pennsylvania Republicans rallying behind his campaign because they know he is on their side, taking on the political, media, and medical establishments to protect their freedoms. Beijing’s favorite candidate David McCormick continues to flounder, despite spending millions on a China-funded smear campaign,” Dr. Oz’s communications director Brittany Yanick said in a statement.

McCormick communications director Jess Szymanski said they aren’t impressed. “The only hall of fame Mehmet Oz is going to join is in Hollywood. He is being rejected by Pennsylvania conservatives and this poll proves it. They see through the fraud of his candidacy and his negative campaign that has already been caught lying. He started with 100 percent name ID and a huge lead and has dropped every single week that he’s been in the race. At this rate, he will be back on TV in China by April.”

“The Trafalgar poll shows Carla well-positioned to capitalize off of her Trump credentials to win the nomination. In an eight-person field, Carla is in a statistical tie with David McCormick for second place behind Mehmet Oz, both of whom have outspent Sands significantly,” said a spokeswoman for Sands. “As McCormick and Oz continue to pummel each other on the airwaves, Carla is fighting for the voters of Pennsylvania and sits perfectly positioned to be a viable third option.”

Kathy Barnette

Barnette came out swinging.

“The people of Pennsylvania have a very important decision to make. It is my hope that we have all learned a valuable lesson over these past two years about what kind of leadership we need in Washington, D.C. We need fighters. We need representatives who will actually represent us and not the will of big money interest. We need to stop picking and rewarding people who have so much money themselves that they don’t need the support of the people, except on voting day,” Barnette said. “Do we really need to send one more rich person to D.C. just because they’re so rich that they can buy an election? How has that worked out for us over these past two years? Which of the three candidates who are reflected in this poll as the ‘top three’ were actually living in Pennsylvania when our schools were shut down, businesses were shuttered, nursing home deaths were exploding, churches closed, rioting and looting filled our streets and our election laws were being unconstitutionally changed?

“The thing about these particular three is that when they lose, we will never see them again. And if they win, we will never see them again. So, choose wisely Pennsylvania. We only get one shot at this,” she said.

Lou Barletta

In the governor’s race, Barletta holds the lead with 24 percent, followed by Mastriano, who garnered 20 percent. Barletta has consistently led in GOP primary polls.

The two leaders are followed by state Senate Pro Tempore Jake Corman at 5 percent; former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain at 4 percent; Sen. Scott Martin (R-Lancaster) at 4 percent; someone else at 14 percent; and 29 percent were undecided.

Dave White, the businessman and former Delaware County councilman who won most of the straw polls, was not mentioned. And since the survey was taken, Martin suspended his campaign.

Both Barletta and Mastriano have ties to former President Donald Trump.

“This reflects what we see and shows the success of Lou’s massive grassroots campaign. We are still working hard to earn every vote,” said Jeremy Sheftel, Barletta’s campaign manager.

Mastriano did not respond to a request for comment.

However, Christopher Borick, a professor of political science at Muhlenberg College and director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion, said it is early in the election season and things could easily change by primary day.

“At this point of the races, the poll results reflect name recognition and some other candidate attributes,” said Borick. “Barletta has run a statewide race before and Oz is a household name. Mastriano has built a substantial media presence and has a strong following in the Trump wing of the GOP.    I would be cautious about making too much of the results at this point because a number of candidates with substantial resources have yet to fully make their ad buys.”

On the Democratic side, Attorney General Josh Shapiro remains the only prominent Democrat running for governor.

In the Senate race, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman showed a commanding lead of 45 percent in an internal poll released on Feb. 1. Congressman Conor Lamb followed him at 15 percent, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta at 12 percent, and Montgomery County Commissioners Chair Val Arkoosh at 4 percent. Arkoosh has since dropped out.


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