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WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 04: Former acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Richard Grenell Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

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(LifeSiteNews) — As Pennsylvania’s primary election day approaches, attacks against pro-life Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kathy Barnette and her supporters by the Trump political machine are becoming more shrill, more unhinged.  

Against daunting odds, Barnette’s popularity has surged in the final stretch of the campaign before next Tuesday’s statewide elections, with recent polling showing that she has doubled her grassroots support in the last week and is now in a statistical dead heat with Trump-endorsed Dr. Mehmet Oz.   

To outside observers, it appears that the Trump political machine is in panic mode over its fraying connection with the Keystone State’s conservative grassroots voters, a sign that Trump’s 2024 re-election chances are weakening.   

As such, statements from former Trump administration Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, a homosexual pro-LGBT activist who often serves as a surrogate for the former president, convey a sense of panic and desperation.    

Their support of Dr. Oz stands in stark contrast not only to the judgement of Pennsylvania’s GOP voting base, but to powerful pro-life forces now endorsing Barnette.   

RELATED: Trump should’ve backed pro-life Kathy Barnette instead of RINO Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania Senate race

Pro-life Susan B. Anthony List (SBA) threw its whole-hearted support behind Barnette’s Senate bid this week, saying, “We are confident that she will be a courageous advocate for life & expose the pro-abortion extremism of the Biden-Schumer agenda.”   

“We urge PA voters to vote for her on May 17!” exhorted SBA, in direct contradiction to the Trump machine.  

The mysterious Oz

Until he entered the race for Pennsylvania’s GOP senatorial nomination, pretty much the only clue the TV celebrity physician had given to his political affiliation was having once described himself as a moderate Republican who had been inspired by former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.   

RELATED: Republican Senate candidate Dr. Oz supports transgender surgeries for kids, occult practices

Other than having publicly voiced his criticism of how governments at all levels had handled COVID-19 lockdowns, Oz’s conservative bona fides are sketchy if non-existent.   

Oz-Trump-Grenell smears widening, backfiring

Grenell has now widened the scope of his character assassinations to include popular conservative commentator Allie Beth Stuckey. 

After Grenell posted a highly edited, deceptive video montage of Barnette intended to denigrate her, Stuckey responded, “We have NO idea the context of these clips. What we do know is that Dr. Oz is a pro choice gun grabber who’s pushed the transition of children.” 

Inexplicably, Grenell quickly retaliated, accusing Stuckey of being “Reckless and radical.”  

Grenell similarly attacked Barnette as “radical”  for a tweet she posted criticizing homosexuals.

“Ric Grenell says I am ‘reckless and radical’ for calling for context for clips he’s posting about Kathy Barnette & for opposing a candidate who has supported gender transition for kids, anti-gun regulation, and abortion,” said Stuckey.  

“Make of this what you will,” she added.  

“Dr. Oz is such an embarrassing hill to die on,” suggested Stuckey early yesterday afternoon.  “Oh well. All the best to you, Ric.” 

By evening they were still going at it on social media.  

“Ric still tweeting about me, calling me names, etc. because I won’t support a candidate who speaks positively about child gender transition, abortion, and taking away peoples guns,” tweeted Stuckey. 

“Wild day on Ric’s account,” she concluded. 

“It looks like the attacks against Kathy Barnette this morning backfired bigly,” declared popular Twitter voice Election Wizard amid yesterday’s social media feuding over Oz v. Barnette.     

“The Oz camp pushed too hard with fake news-style smears. Dangerous tactic,” continued Election Wizard.   

“Might have worked in the old days, but tech makes it easy for the MAGA Mafia to sniff out the nonsense.” 

Influential Republicans in Washington and among the nationwide party elite are having a belated ‘oh s—t’ moment over the previously unimaginable prospect that Kathy Barnette could win their party’s nomination for the open Senate seat in Pennsylvania,” according to D.C. political news site Axios.  

Axios explained:

  • Worst case: She proves to be as big a liability as many fear and hands a competitive seat to the Democrats. 
  • Best case: She’s elected and ends up a thorn in the side of Senate leadership. She’s already signaled hesitancy about backing McConnell as the Republican leader. 

In either case, if Pennsylvania voters send Barnette to Washington in November, grassroots conservatives win, as do the nation’s unborn.  

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Doug Mainwaring is a journalist for LifeSiteNews, an author, and a marriage, family and children's rights activist.  He has testified before the United States Congress and state legislative bodies, originated and co-authored amicus briefs for the United States Supreme Court, and has been a guest on numerous TV and radio programs.  Doug and his family live in the Washington, DC suburbs.