Pennsylvania Senate candidate Mehmet Oz is going after Republican primary opponent Kathy Barnette days before the contest in a tight race where Barnette in recent days has appeared to have the mometum.
In an appearance on Fox News on Friday, Oz touted his endorsement from former President Trump and said Barnette had not been vetted enough to be a senator. He also criticized remarks she has made about Islam.
“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 said in the interview.
He also suggested he’d be the stronger general election candidate.
“But imagine if you’re a Democratic pollster, or partisan, and you’re watching a woman who said openly homophobic and Islamophobic statements, made all kinds of allegations that we can’t even verify some very important parts of her history and she won’t respond to her questions from anybody,” he said.
Oz said that Trump was “really clear” in his support for Oz over Barnette because of the alleged ambiguity of her past.
“He said, we know very little about her past, she cannot win in November,” Oz said of Trump.
Oz concluded: “So I think it’s very difficult to vet her in a way that Republican primary voters will find acceptable.”
Trump endorsed Oz for the Senate seat in early April, saying, “The Great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has a tremendous opportunity to Save America by electing the brilliant and well-known Dr. Mehmet Oz for the United States Senate.”
A Fox News poll on Tuesday found Barnette closing in on Oz and another leading GOP candidate, David McCormick. Barnette had 19 percent in the poll compared to 22 percent for Oz and 20 percent for McCormick.
Trump also criticized Barnette this week, saying she would “never” be able to win a general election in the state.