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Tag: david mccormick

McCormick Sues Over Undated Mail Ballots In Pennsylvania Senate Primary

(Reuters) - Senate candidate David McCormick has filed a lawsuit in a Pennsylvania court to compel counties to count undated mail-in ballots in his primary race against TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz, whom he trails by less than 1,000 votes.

The race between McCormick, a former hedge fund executive, and Oz, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, for the Republican Party nomination is close enough to trigger an automatic recount under Pennsylvania state law.

While McCormick is slightly behind Oz after the May 17 vote, he is well ahead of his opponent in absentee ballots, according to polling firm Edison Research. McCormick has received 45,794 mail-in votes, compared with Oz, who has 32,944.

In a statement, McCormick's campaign said it sued on Monday in Pennsylvania's Commonwealth Court "to compel the counties to follow the [Republican-leaning] Third Circuit Court order from last week stating that undated ballots returned on time be counted."

The statement added that the ballots "are postmarked upon arrival to county boards of elections and, therefore, already dated and proven to be timely."

It was not clear how many mail-in ballots lack a handwritten date, and whether counting them could help McCormick or make a recount less likely. State election officials expect to know this week whether a recount will be needed.

Pennsylvania's Department of State, which oversees elections, said it agreed that undated ballots must be counted in the May 17 race, but advised they be "segregated" and "appropriately logged pending litigation."

"A determination on whether the segregated tabulations will be used in certifying elections has not yet been made, given the ongoing litigation," it said.

The Pennsylvania Republican Party said on Twitter that they "absolutely object to the counting of mail-in ballots. Pennsylvania law and our courts have been very clear that undated ballots are not to be counted."

In a statement on Twitter, Oz called McCormick's lawsuit "a tactic that could have long-term harmful consequences for elections in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania."

(Reporting by Rami Ayyub; editing by Ross Colvin and Jonathan Oatis)

McCormick Vote Climbs With Mail Ballots In Pennsylvania, Enraging Trump

A recent run-in with a familiar enemy, mail-in ballots, has left former President Trump intensifying his baseless claims of widespread voter fraud in Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate race, which other Republicans, even the candidate he endorsed, Mehmet Oz, have refused to embrace.

After urging Oz to “declare victory” in his party’s too-close-to-call senate race — which Trump did himself in 2020 — the former president has again resorted to questioning the legitimacy of votes that arrived by mail, seething in fury as his candidate’s lead dwindles rapidly.

"Here we go again! In Pennsylvania, they are unable to count the Mail-In Ballots. It is a BIG MESS," Trump wrote on Truth Social, his much-ridiculed social media platform.

Oz still holds a narrow 980 vote lead over his rival, David McCormick, a former hedge fund manager Trump labeled a “Liberal Wall Street Republican.” However, mail-in ballots have appeared to favor McCormick, putting him in proximity with Oz in a race that’s well within the threshold for an automatic recount.

State officials have continued working long hours tallying ballots, including those mailed in. There has been no evidence of wrongdoing in the process — which is the same in every other election.

However, Trump appears to care little about the hardworking Pennsylvanian election officials as he did those in Georgia, Arizona, and other states he accused of engineering and facilitating voter fraud in 2020.

“It’s very reminiscent of what we saw in 2020,” said Al Schmidt, a former Philadelphia city election commissioner. According to the Washington Post, Schmidt faced death threats after Trump tweeted at him in 2020. “It’s an indication that he’s not confident that his candidate is going to win. When it looks like you’re losing, you want to flip the board game over — you’re clearly afraid of the outcome,” Schmidt added.

Pat Toomey, the Republican senator whose retirement has opened the hotly contested seat, voiced his admiration for Oz and McCormick, neither of whom has disseminated Trump’s false fraud claims.

“That’s not the least bit surprising given his history and what we know about Donald Trump,” Toomey said, reacting to Trump’s relentless fraud claims. “It’s much to Mehmet Oz’s credit that he hasn’t adopted that rhetoric and seems to be adhering to what used to be the conventional view that all the legal ballots should be counted.”

Haunted by ghosts of election losses past, Trum, posted Thursday morning on Truth Social: “The Pennsylvania Oz race is ridiculous. How long does it take to count votes. France, same day all paper, had VERIFIED numbers in evening. U.S. is a laughingstock on Elections. Stop FINDING VOTES in PENNSYLVANIA! RIGGED?”

Naturally, Trump’s bogus claims, which have no basis in fact, mirror the false allegations he made before, during, and after Election Day in 2020.

According to MSNBC's Steve Kornacki, Oz is still on track to score big in mail-in ballots because he’s fairing better in Lancaster County’s mail-in voting, which has the biggest stack of uncounted GOP mail-in ballots.

Kathy Barnette Blames Everybody Else For Her Muslim-Baiting Tweets

Kathy Barnette, a Trumpist conspiracy-peddling Republican candidate in the Pennsylvania Senate race who has been rising through the ranks, speeding even past big-spending rivals, is facing waves of criticism and public backlash for her past anti-Muslim tweets.

On Sunday, in an interview with Fox News Sunday host Shannon Bream, after bobbing and weaving on questions probing her military service, Barnette tried to downplay the gravity of Islamophobic tweets that she had penned.

“If you love freedom, Islam must NOT be allowed to thrive under any condition,” Barnette declared in a 2014 tweet. However, her anti-Muslim rant didn’t end there. Her later tweets would hone in on an even bigger target: former President Barack Obama.

"Obama is a Muslim. Doing Muslim like THINGS!" Barnette tweeted in 2016, pushing false claims about the former president’s faith. Referencing the Iran nuclear deal, Barnette targeted Obama, a devout Christian, again later that year in another tweet. "Obama would NEVER lie or evade the American people. He's a Muslim, errrr, American."

When Bream pressed Barnette about the anti-Islam tweets, the GOP Senate candidate took a leaf from the GOP playbook and blamed others for her actions. She lobbed the blame for her social media rant on Obama and Syrians fleeing the civil war in their country.

"Let me just say in almost all of those tweets...especially when you look at the timeframe we were living in, at that particular time, we had the Obama administration bringing in a lot of Syrian refugees at that time,” Barnette told Bream.

Barnette also tried to pass off the resurfacing of her old tweets as a political attack that showed how desperate her opponents are.

“I can’t provide a lot of context because, again, it’s almost ten years ago. That’s how far they have to go back to find anything on me,” she said.

The media was also to blame, according to Barnette. “I have not embellished on my record,” she said. “I have been running this race now for about 13 months, and if you listen to the mainstream media, you would think I crawled from under a rock yesterday.”

In 2020, after losing her first run at Congress by an eye-popping 19 percentage points, Barnette became a willing mouthpiece for former President Trump’s bogus claims of widespread voter fraud, particularly in the votes that were cast by mail.

"I even secured more votes than the president, showing that my American message had a crossover effect," she fumed after her stinging loss to the Democratic Incumbent, Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA).

"I have no idea how we as Americans have allowed the greatest nation to become the equivalent of having elections as the equivalent of Afghanistan with progressive liberals looking a whole lot like the Taliban,” Barnette had added.

After an unsuccessful blame-game attempt, Barnette distanced herself from her past tweets, which she called “incomplete thoughts.”

“At that time, I was hosting a show called ‘Truth Exchange’ and I would have all kinds of ideas and was leaning in to helping the public begin to have those conversations, and so those were some of the — that’s the context around a lot of those tweets,” Barnette said during the Fox interview.

“The overwhelming majority of the tweets that are now being presented are not even full thoughts. They’re not even full sentences and yet people take it and they begin to build their own narrative around it,” she added.

Trump has assailed Barnette, calling her unvetted and unelectable, according to the New York Times. “Kathy Barnette will never be able to win the general election against the radical left Democrats,” Trump said in a statement.

Battlecry Of Republican Primary Rumbles: 'You're Soft On China!'

With most conservative candidates in primary races across the country pledging allegiance to former President Trump and disseminating his Big Lie, what is a Republican candidate to do to get ahead? Why, just accuse their Republican opponent of having ties to China, of course!

Spurious, misleading, and even exaggerated accusations of connections with China are a source of anxiety for Republicans in the 2022 races, while campaign strategists and candidates have labeled such allegations a “prime attack in a Republican primary,” according to the Washington Post.

Incumbent Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp — who is running against four other candidates in the Peach State primary, chief among them former Senator David Perdue — ran a TV spot accusing hisTrump-backed rival Perdue of outsourcing jobs to China before becoming a senator.

"Millionaire David Perdue got rich sending jobs to China," the narrator in Kemp’s ad claimed. The ad used a clip of Perdue in his days before the Senate, when he said, "I lived over there. I’ve been dealing with China for over 30 years," and another clip from a Georgia Public Broadcasting interview where Perdue claimed, “We outsourced every single product that we sold in our stores."

Kemp’s communications director touted the effectiveness of the China ad in a statement to the Post. “We tested a number of hits, and that was the best-polling one — the outsourcing to China.” Tying Perdue to China has become central to the incumbent governor’s paid advertising and messaging.

Invoking China is a crucial strategy in the Pennsylvania primary, too. Candidate Mehmet Oz, whom Trump is backing, has accused opponent David McCormick of carrying out business deals with China. McCormick struck back, as one would expect, alleging that Oz made bank from dealings with Chinese state TV and patronized products made in China.

In a blistering attack last Friday night, Trump accused McCormick of being a “liberal Wall Street Republican” who has managed money for China. “I don’t know David well, and he may be a nice guy, but he’s not MAGA,” the former president added.

A pollster who has worked for Trump and is polling in many 2022 primaries told the Post that tough talk on US-China relations, even far-fetched claims, is all the rage in this year’s Republican primary debates because that’s what Republican voters want to hear.

“If you coddle China, or you are soft on China, that makes you not so much America first and not so tough,” pollster Tony Fabrizio said. “Being tagged as soft on China is not a good thing. Trump focused and catalyzed some of it. But China has been seen as the primary world foe for at least the last decade or more.”

Fabrizio also spoke of a poll he conducted earlier this year which showed that Republicans consider China a bigger threat to national security than Russia, even after Russia’s missile bombardment of Ukraine has claimed thousands of civilian lives.

Two years of battling the Covid-19 pandemic, coupled with Trump’s litany of anti-China messaging, has increased the Republican voters' negative perception of China. In March, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs conducted a poll that found that 75 percent of Republicans considered Beijing’s development a “critical threat” to the interests of the United States of America, up from 67 percent in 2020 and 42 percent in 2018, according to the Washington Post.

Last year, Trump’s team ran a poll to ascertain the former president’s most effective messages and found that the former president’s supporters love his attacks on China.

An informal adviser for Trump, Michael Pillsbury, weighed in on this seismic perception shift. “It is something quite new — Republicans used to be the business of party and free trade,” Pillsbury told the Washington Post. “And I remember during the early considerations of President Trump — putting heavy tariffs on China — there were voices within the White House and within the party that this goes against Republican traditions.”

“The current mood toward China,” Pillsbury added, “is darker than it has been in decades in the United States.”