On Friday's edition of CNN's "The Lead," former Mike Pence communications aide Alyssa Farah Griffin tore into Kathy Barnette, the far right radio host who has unexpectedly surged in polls to threaten frontrunners Dr. Mehmet Oz and David McCormick — the former of whom is Trump-endorsed — for the GOP Senate nomination in Pennsylvania.
Griffin made clear she believes that Barnette, who has a history of extreme bigotry and conspiracy theories, could endanger Republican hopes of holding onto the seat.
"Let's go back to Kathy Barnette, who is surging in the polls, and apparently denying that she sent some of the tweets that clearly she sent and clearly fit in perfectly with things she has been saying for years that are homophobic and anti-Muslim and bigoted in other ways," said anchor Jake Tapper. "Are you worried, as a Republican ... about her getting the nomination?"
"Yeah, and what's happening's pretty stunning if you think about it," said Griffin. "There's so much oxygen around Dr. Oz and Dave McCormick and that's where all the focus has been. And then out of left field, this very extremist candidate who frankly makes Oz and McCormick, who have run very, very MAGA, look almost moderate compared to her positions, now surging. This brings back some memories of the 2010 Tea Party wave, where extremist candidates — Christine O'Donnell in Delaware comes to mind — got the nomination of the party and ultimately lost."
"Jake, you're from Pennsylvania," Griffin added. "This is a state that has traditionally had — it's purple in many ways. We forget, Donald Trump didn't win Pennsylvania, so running on an extremist, far-right platform is not a winning message if you're trying to pick up a Senate seat."
The primary to decide the Senate nomination will take place this upcoming Tuesday.
Watch the segment below or at this link:
Alyssa Farah Griffin on Kathy Barnettewww.youtube.com