Donald Trump keeps interjecting pandemonium into GOP politics in the battleground state of Pennsylvania.
Within hours of endorsing Dr. Mehmet Oz in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate, conservatives were openly criticizing Trump's decision.
As The Philadelphia Inquirer reports, Tuesday became a "whiplash-inducing day in the GOP primary for governor" in Pennsylvania.
"Donald Trump is still sowing chaos in Pennsylvania Republican politics," the newspaper reported, noting Trump's attack on Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill McSwain.
“One person in Pennsylvania who I will not be endorsing is Bill McSwain for Governor,” Trump argued. “He was the U.S. Attorney who did absolutely nothing on the massive Election Fraud that took place in Philadelphia and throughout the commonwealth.”
“Do not vote for Bill McSwain, a coward, who let our Country down,” Trump said. “He knew what was happening and let it go. It was there for the taking and he failed so badly.”
In the resulting chaos, state Senate leader Jake Corman asked a court to take his name off the ballot for governor — and then decided to stay in the race after talking with Trump.
"And to top it off, former U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA), another leading candidate, just happened to have a campaign fund-raiser planned for Tuesday evening at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s private club in Florida. A source close to Barletta’s campaign said the event had long been planned," the newspaper reported. "The developments didn’t bring much clarity to the crowded race to take on state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the presumptive Democratic nominee. But they unmistakably showed that Trump continues to dictate the terms of the primary campaign."
Some insiders worry state Sen. Doug Mastriano could seize the nomination and give Democrats an opening in November. The seat is currently held by retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), which would give Democrats a pick-up in the closely divided U.S. Senate.
"A Fox News poll last month found Mastriano and Barletta leading the field, followed by White and McSwain. But no candidate had even 20% of the vote, and most Republicans were undecided," the newspaper reported. "But individual candidates matter, and in any given race, the party with the wind at its back can still self-destruct. In Pennsylvania’s race for governor, some Republican insiders worry the crowded field could enable someone like Mastriano – a leading election denier who many in the GOP see as a deeply flawed general election candidate – to win the nomination with only a fraction of the vote."
Trump's "big lie" of election fraud could also play a major role in the gubernatorial race.
Conservative pundit Amanda Carpenter on Tuesday predicted, "Pennsylvania Republicans will nominate a 2020 election conspiracist for governor in the May 17 primary."
"How can I be sure of that? Because they’re all election conspiracists. The only thing differentiating them is how far down the rabbit hole they go," she explained. "And, there’s an excellent chance the nuttiest bunny of them all, Doug Mastriano, is going to win the primary."
Meanwhile, on Fox News, Laura Ingraham tried to get Kellyanne Conway to say it was a "mistake" for Trump to endorse Dr. Oz in the Senate primary.
"I'll say it, I'm not afraid to say it. It was a mistake," Ingraham said.
Ingraham: You wouldn\u2019t answer the question whether it was mistake. I think it was a mistake to endorse Oz. I\u2019ll say it, I\u2019m not afraid to say it. It was a mistake. \nKellyanne: No, I\u2019m not afraidpic.twitter.com/efVgWLuTFi— Acyn (@Acyn) 1649818581