A Twitter firestorm directed at Kathy Barnette on May 11 suggests that the campaigns of Dr. Mehmet Oz and David McCormick, and their supporters, are in a panic over the black U.S. Army veteran’s recent surge in the polls.
Oz, a celebrity doctor endorsed by Donald Trump, and McCormick, a hedge fund executive and former U.S. Treasury Dept. official backed by Sen. Ted Cruz, have engaged in an expensive and bitter slugfest in Pennsylvania’s GOP U.S. Senate primary.
Barnette, who is also an author and a conservative political commentator, has ascended in the polls and has almost caught Oz with less than a week to go before the May 17 primary.
On May 8, The Trafalgar Group released a poll that showed Barnette at 23.2 percent among 1.080 likely GOP primary voters, just behind Oz (24.5 percent) and ahead of McCormick (21.6 percent).
The poll’s margin of error is 2.99 percent, which indicates that the race is too close to call.
According to the survey, 15.1 percent remain undecided.
Until Barnette’s climb, Oz and McCormick—and their respective supporters—directed their attacks on each other. Barnette is now a target.
On May 11, former U.S. National Intelligence acting director and Oz supporter Richard Grenell shared a July 14, 2020, tweet from Barnette where she used BLM and Defund the Police hashtags.
Grenell wrote “Good God. Yikes.” and gave the impression that Barnette was speaking out against law enforcement in a video that he attached. In the video; however, Barnette delivers an impassioned plea for black people to not support the “defund the police” movement.
“Defunding the police is stupid, people,” she said.
“Black people, do not fall for these white liberals who are coming into our communities and telling us we need to remove law enforcement,” she added.
Also on May 11, conservative podcaster Greg Kelly posted part of an edited video Barnette streamed on Facebook in May 2020 after the George Floyd murder in Minnesota.
The edited excerpt gives the impression that Barnette supported the riots and paints a portrait of a black woman vilifying law enforcement.
Kelly accompanied the video with comments that include “Here she is saying how great [the] Black Lives Matter summer was” and “Kathy needs to do more thinking and less speaking.”
Part of the edited video features Barnette saying,
“… In broad daylight. It’s just absolutely reprehensible. And in that moment, I felt an entire nation come to the aid of what so many of us in the black community feel happens often enough. Some of us feel as though on every street corner there’s a police officer. They’re ready and waiting to shoot a black man.”
Jeff Charles, a contributor to Red State and podcast host of “A Fresh Perspective,” reported about Kelly’s tweet and posted the entirety of Barnette’s comments about Floyd, which include:
“What happened to George Floyd. My heart goes out to his family. I cannot imagine. In fact, I couldn’t fully listen to the entire video that went viral that I’m sure so many of you watched. It’s sad. It’s sickening to see the indifference, deliberate indifference that was displayed there on that particular day. And in broad daylight. It’s just absolutely reprehensible.
“And in that moment, I felt an entire nation come to the aid of what so many of us in the black community feel happens often enough. Some of us feel as though on every street corner there’s a police officer. They’re ready and waiting to shoot a black man. I do not believe that that is the case. And we’ll talk about tha…