In recent days, Barnette has surged in the polls to join medical television personality Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund CEO David McCormick at the top of the GOP field. Barnette’s push has led other candidates to target her over some of her past statements, as well as inconsistencies in her personnel file.
Barnette said the anti-Muslim statements Bream posted in Sunday’s interview should be seen in context.
“The overwhelming majority of tweets that are featured now aren’t even full thoughts,” she said.
“These aren’t even full sentences. And yet people take it and they start to build their own narrative around it. So I can’t provide much context because, again, that was almost 10 years ago. That’s how far they have to go to try and find anything on me,” she said. “What can I say – although I can’t provide much context to this because it’s half-thought and not everything is there for me to talk about – what can I say is is that I love my country.”
On Saturday, Oz attacked Barnette for her statements attacking Islam and its adherents, saying, “It is reprehensible for her to tweet something that is defamatory to an entire religion.” Even former President Donald Trump has said he doubts she can win the general election. The winner of Tuesday’s primary is set to face Democratic Lt. Governor John Fetterman in November for the open Senate seat.
Beyond these statements, the National Review, among other publications, has raised questions about her past, including questions about her military service, when and where she taught as an adjunct teacher, and when she moved to Pennsylvania. .
Barnette insisted she had not misrepresented who she was, saying the evidence was available on her campaign website.
“I haven’t embellished anything on my record, on my time in the military,” she said. “And I’m very grateful to have had the wonderful opportunity to serve our country.”
Barnette also expressed surprise that her background is suddenly getting so much attention.
“If you listen to the mainstream media, you would think I crawled under a rock yesterday. I didn’t. We’ve been here 13 months,” she said.