May 16, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Kathy Barnette reacts to “unfortunate” Trump robocall

Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Kathy Barnette speaks at a rally.

Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Kathy Barnette. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Kathy Barnette described a recent robocall in which former President Trump campaigns for Dr. Mehmet Oz as "unfortunate" and a bad move by his advisers.

State of play: Barnette has been a longtime supporter for Trump, who has endorsed her opponent Oz in the Senate GOP primary race.

Driving the news: Fox News Channel's "Special Report" played snippets of a robocall in which Trump says that Barnette "wanted to build a statue to Barack Hussein Obama and attacked the father of our country, George Washington. That's no good."

  • Barnette responded to the robocalls, saying "that is unfortunate that the president would say that," Barnette said. "Again, I'm going to chalk it up to he has bad advisers on that one. It is very clear. "

Context: Barnette said on Fox News Channel's "Special Report" on Monday that she was marching on Jan. 6 to support former President Trump.

  • "We had a wonderful time. We prayed. We listened to what the president had to say. We hung out," Barnette told anchor Brett Baier.
  • "We walked and sang songs, and then we got on our bus and left and came back home."
  • "I was out there because I wanted to hear what the president had to say."
  • The photos in a recent NBC News report, she said, were evidence that "the media is smearing my name and sowing seeds of disinformation in order to suppress my vote and steal this election from me. "

The big picture: Barnette has recently gained traction among the Republican base in the Pennsylvania primary race which has been largely seen as a battle between David McCormick and Oz.

  • Barnette's rise triggered surprise among influential Republicans in Washington, Axios' Jonathan Swan, Lachlan Markay and Andrew Solender previously reported.
  • Barnette has faced tremendous scrutiny and criticism amid her surge in the polls. Several past tweets included anti-Muslim and anti-LGBTQ comments, as well as conspiracy theories against former President Obama.
  • Former President Trump also questioned her past, warning that she has "not been properly explained or vetted."
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