Mehmet Oz, the Trump-backed candidate in the Republican primary to replace retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), called out his opponent Kathy Barnette Friday over her past homophobic and Islamophobic comments.
Fox News’ Martha MacCallum noted that former President Donald Trump had released a statement Thursday critical of Barnette, but that he ended with some words of praise for her. MacCallum asked Oz if he was concerned that Trump was “hedging his bets” at all in the statement.
“He said she cannot win in November. Frankly, every time Kathy tries to answer a question, it leads to a lot more questions, which is why she’s not answering any questions,” Oz responded.
“Imagine if you’re a Democratic pollster or a partisan and you are watching a woman that said openly homophobic statements and Islamophobic statements, made all kinds of allegations in her past, we can’t even verify very important parts of her history,” he continued, referencing recent reporting on some of Barnette’s controversial past statements, including comparing Islam to Nazism.
“She won’t respond to questions from anybody, it’s difficult to vet her in a way that Republican primary voters will find acceptable,” he continued.
“Thankfully, President Trump already said I’m the America first candidate. He said, and I will quote him, he said, ‘I was smart, tough and I will never let you down,’” Oz added, concluding, “Those are the characteristics Republican primary voters count on, you got to be smart enough to understand the issue, to understand what Democrats are trying to do.”
The latest poll from the Trafalgar Group found Barnette in second place with 23 percent of the vote, Oz at 25 percent, and Dave McCormick at 22 percent – almost a statistical dead heat.
Watch the full clip above via Fox News
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