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'Reprehensible': Oz condemns GOP opponent's tweet on Islam

'Reprehensible': Oz condemns GOP opponent's tweet on Islam

CARLISLE, Pa. (AP) — Republican Senate hopeful Mehmet Oz is stepping up his censure of far-right candidates inside Pennsylvania who are gaining traction ahead of Tuesday's main election.

After spending a a large amount of of the military operation steering understandable of fellow Republican Senate contender Kathy Barnette, Oz on Saturday said she was not here of step accompanied by the GOP with every one other accompanied by would exist unable to come first in the general election inside November. In an interview, he took matter accompanied by a 2015 tweet from Barnette inside which she wrote that "Pedophilia is a Cornerstone of Islam."

Oz, who would exist the nation's earliest Muslim senator, described the comments while "disqualifying."

"It's reprehensible that she would tweet not here something that is defamatory to an entire religion," Oz told The Associated Press. "This condition was based on devout freedom. I'm pleased while a Pennsylvanian to uphold those founding beliefs that every one trust has its merits."

The Barnette military operation did not respond to a appeal for comment. Earlier inside the week, Barnette told NBC News that she did not build the statement, which was still exist on her Twitter feed on Saturday.

For months, the contest for the Republican nomination for Pennsylvania's not shut Senate seat has been an costly fight in the centre of former hedge fund CEO David McCormick with every one other accompanied by Oz, who have spent millions of dollars attacking every one other on television. Each has too faced questions concerning their ties to Pennsylvania. McCormick grew up inside the state, while Oz went to medical educational organization there with every one other accompanied by was married inside Philadelphia.


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But inside the final days of the Republican primary, a third candidate — Barnette, a conservative commentator who has courted hard-line pro-Trump groups — has emerged. Trump himself has warned that Barnette's background hasn't been properly vetted.

With the election fair days away, polls show a firm three-way contest accompanied by a sizable number of undecided voters who could sway the results following week.

Oz has won Trump's endorsement inside the Senate contest, although some Trump supporters carry on accompanied by to question his conservative credentials.

When asked to clarify his views on abortion inside the Saturday interview, Oz distanced himself from Trump's newly minted pick for Pennsylvania governor, Doug Mastriano, a far-right conservative who has called abortion "the No. 1 issue." In a recent televised debate, Mastriano said he supports banning abortion from conception, accompanied by no indeed exceptions for rape, incest or the existence of the mother.

Oz described himself while "pro-life," nevertheless said he would like better an abortion ban inside Pennsylvania that would include exceptions for rape, incest with every one other accompanied by the existence of the mother.

"There are times when we disagree accompanied by other pro-life advocates," Oz told the AP. "In my case, those disagreements regularly go nearer concerning because, while a doctor, I've dealt accompanied by issues that threaten the existence of the mother."

Oz saved his most pointed censure for Barnette, however, echoing Trump's concerns that her background hasn't been properly scrutinized. He lashed not here at her foregoing comments on Islam, noting that she too has a history of anti-gay remarks.

"We know so little," Oz said. "Every hour dated she answers a question, she raises additional questions. But I believe it's disqualifying to build Islamophobic with every one other accompanied by homophobic comments, not fair for the general election, nevertheless the Republican main while well."


Associated Press author Marc Levy inside Harrisburg, Pa., contributed to this report.

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