The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

campaign 2022

Doug Mastriano

Youtube Screenshot

Doug Mastriano is a QAnon conspiracy theorist and January 6 insurrectionist who this week won the Republican nomination for Pennsylvania governor. Mastriano is also anti-Muslim: He previously shared an image with the words, “Stop Islam” and a post claiming that “the American People have a right to be fearful of the prospect of a large number of muslims being elected to congress, specifically if they practice Sharia law.”

In addition to running for governor, Mastriano is a Pennsylvania state senator, a right-wing commentator, and a frequent guest in right-wing media. He regularly pushes lies about the 2020 election being stolen from former President Donald Trump.

Mastriano has shared toxic conspiracy theories on social media. Media Matters previously documented that Mastriano sent more than 50 tweets with the QAnon hashtag in 2018 and used Facebook to share false claims that vaccines are deadly and cause autism.

Mastriano is behind the Facebook page "Doug Mastriano Fighting for Freedom," which frequently posts his commentaries. On August 20, 2018, Mastriano shared a piece from the defunct website DailyTack.com which had the headline “Over 90 Jihadi’s Are Running For Office As Democrats.”

In the piece, author Harry Cherry wrote that “between 90 and 100 Muslims are running for office this year, the most since September 11th, 2001 – the Associated Press has reported. … The bottom line is that the American People have a right to be fearful of the prospect of a large number of muslims being elected to congress, specifically if they practice Sharia law.”

From the piece Mastriano shared:

Between 90 and 100 Muslims are running for office this year, the most since September 11th, 2001 – the Associated Press has reported.

Around 50 of those candidates will remain after primaries, according to the Associated Press. However, that number is drastically higher than the dozen Muslim candidates that ran in 2016.

Many of the candidates say they were motivated by anti-Muslim rhetoric in the U.S. – rightly so after 9/11, the Boston Marathon Bombing and the San Bernardino Massacre. Leftists blame President Trump and the travel ban from 7 “muslim-majority countries,” however all 3 terror attacks listed above, were committed in the United States by muslims – long before Donald Trump ever ran for President. The bottom line is that the American People have a right to be fearful of the prospect of a large number of muslims being elected to congress, specifically if they practice Sharia law. Sharia law is the practice of utilizing the punishments listed in the Quran in one’s daily life, including in public. Sharia law also promotes the killing of Jews and Gays.

Mastriano also shared an image on December 8, 2018, which stated: “In the name of tolerance we have imported intolerance. People who respect neither the culture nor the rights of the original population.” That text was imposed on a graphic stating, “Stop Islam.”

Mastriano has made similar anti-Muslim posts. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reported on May 6, 2019, that he “shared a stream of conspiracy theories and Islamophobic memes and articles” on Facebook. In one instance, the publication noted that Mastriano shared a piece from August 4, 2018, with the headline, “A Dangerous Trend: Muslims Running for Office.”

Mehmet Oz, who is currently in contention for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania, is Muslim and has criticized former opponent Kathy Barnette for writing that “Pedophilia is a Cornerstone of Islam,” calling the remark “disqualifying.”

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Pat McCrory

Youtube Screenshot

If former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is any indication, the GOP primary wounds wrought in the last several months stand a good chance of bleeding into the general election this fall.

McCrory, who lost his bid Tuesday to become the Republican nominee for the Tar Heel State's open Senate seat, declined to endorse his GOP rival, Rep. Ted Budd, the Trump endorsee.

"What I need to do is get assurances from the current leaders in my state party that I haven't been cancelled, because for the past 13 months, I've been told I'm a RINO," McCrory said, using the acronym for Republicans In Name Only.

The term, once pejoratively used to describe Republicans who weren't conservative enough, has effectively become a slur hurled at Republicans who aren't considered loyal enough to Donald Trump.

But McCrory wanted the state party to "correct that" categorization, objecting to the insinuation that he wasn't a tried-and-true conservative.

"Maybe they didn't mean that," McCrory posited, "or if they meant it, I've gotta do some reevaluation. Because they not only said I was a RINO, they said I wasn't conservative—and I consider myself a pretty conservative guy."

But McCrory wasn't simply speaking for himself. He was using himself as a stand-in for the some 25% of GOP primary voters who cast their ballots for him and who will also make or break Republicans' chances of claiming that seat in November.

"This is going to be a very close general election," McCrory noted. "So I think my party, in order to win the general election, has still got to appeal to the conservatives like me—the Ronald Reagan conservative—in order to win North Carolina.”

He challenged party leaders to come back to him and his supporters and embrace them as an "important" part of the Republican Party.

"But to do kind of a Mccarthyism within in our own party—saying some people belong and some people don't belong—man, we better correct that or we're not going to win the U.S. Senate or the White House in '24."

McCrory noted that GOP Sen. Thom Tillis won reelection last year by roughly 40,000 votes out of over 4 million cast.

"And that was with a flawed Democrat," he said of Cal Cunningham, who was dragged down in the final month of the race by a sexting scandal. "So the Republican Party is going to have to work hard here," McCrory said.

McCrory added that he wanted the Republican Majority in the Senate, but offered, "I think we're gong to have to have a little more courage in reaching out and not being so wrapped up in one individual."

And there's the rub. That one individual—otherwise known as "Individual 1" in criminal parlance—is Trump, who would much rather sacrifice the GOP Senate majority than welcome non-loyalists into a bigger tent party.

But McCrory isn't alone in his rejection of simply smoothing over intraparty ruptures in order to prevail in November. On the other end of the GOP spectrum is MAGA radical Kathy Barnette, who lost her bid Tuesday to become the Republican nominee for Pennsylvania's Senate seat. While her rivals, Trump endorsee Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund CEO David McCormick, are locked almost dead even at 31% each, Barnette still managed to commandeer some 25% of the GOP vote with her late rise to prominence in the race. It's nothing to sneeze at in a state that promises to host one of the most competitive general-election Senate contests in the country.

But Barnette is already on the record saying she doesn't intend to endorse either of her rivals, whom she has cast as MAGA posers even though Oz won Trump's endorsement.

Asked by right-wing Breitbart News Monday if she planned to back her GOP challengers, Barnette responded, “I have no intentions of supporting globalists. I believe we have ran out of room on this runway for this nation. I believe we have very little rope left to just roll the dice and we’ll see how it works on the other end."

Barnette's slash and burn continued on Wednesday as she seized on Dr. Oz's election-night shout out to Fox News' Sean Hannity for offering his advice and consultation "this entire campaign."

That admission clearly got under Barnette’s skin. "I do want to say, never forget what Sean Hannity did in this race," Barnette said in a video statement thanking her supporters. "Almost single-handedly, Sean Hannity sowed seeds of disinformation, flat-out lies, every night for the past five days. And that was just extremely hard to overcome."

By contrast, Rep. Connor Lamb of Pennsylvania, who lost the Democratic Senate primary Tuesday to Lt. Gov. John Fetterman by a roughly 33-point margin, issued an amicable statement conceding the race.

"I entered this believing PA Dems needed a real debate, and I’m proud of the campaign we gave you," Lamb tweeted Tuesday night. "Today, voters made it clear that John is their choice. I respect their decision and congratulate John on his victory."

But don't worry, folks, if you're enjoying the post-primary Republican infighting, more is surely coming after next week's GOP primary in Georgia, where Trump endorsee David Perdue appears poised to lose his effort to oust incumbent GOP Gov. Brian Kemp, whom Trump still despises with a white hot hate.

Here’s McCrory’s interview—very much worth the watch since he is taking up the mantle of old-school Republicans as ideological outcasts in today’s MAGA-dominated GOP.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.