Pennsylvania GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano on Newsmax Thursday pushed back against a newspaper report indicating that more Republicans are backing his Democrat challenger, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, while citing concerns that Mastriano is too "extreme" for the post.
"I was an intel officer, and consider the source, the [Philadelphia] Inquirer. They are basically fan-girling constantly for Josh Shapiro," Mastriano said on Newsmax's "National Report," where he appeared with former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa.
"They hardly ever say a kind word about a Republican, especially me," Mastriano said. "The idea that they call somebody like me, a retired Army colonel with top secret access for 30 years, 'extreme' just displays the point that Democrats suffer from a psychological disorder called transference and projection. They're blaming others for what they're guilty of."
The Inquirer reported this week that Michael Chertoff, who served as secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from 2005-09 under then-President George W. Bush, and James Schultz, a former associate White House counsel for Trump, are backing Shapiro over concerns about Mastriano's statements about the 2020 presidential election.
Several other key Pennsylvania Republicans came out Tuesday against Mastriano, and two Republican-run super PACs are organizing advertising campaigns in hopes of drawing voters away from Mastriano to vote for Shapiro, the newspaper reported.
"They want to call people like us extreme when Josh Shapiro, who thinks that it's a great idea to roll back 50 years of women's achievements in athletics by allowing biological men to come and dominate their sports," said Mastriano on Newsmax. "He thinks it's great, the masking of kids, and he sued to keep the kids masked up a year after the mandate."
Shapiro has also "failed at his job," Mastriano claimed, as crime has climbed in Pennsylvania under his watch.
"The guy's a train wreck, and so what they see with me is somebody who stands for basic freedom," said Mastriano. "We represent a movement that is drawing Democrats. Independents are breaking form by 60%, and we've seen many Democrats switch parties to join [us]."
Pennsylvania, meanwhile, under GOP rule, can "open up our energy sector here and even help us drive down inflation here," Mastriano said.
Meanwhile, Mastriano also spoke out about the raid on former President Donald Trump's home, and the matter of whether Trump had the authority to declassify documents.
"I was a military intelligence officer for 30 years in the Army with the top secret clearance, and so I do have a know a thing or two about the classification of documents here," Mastriano said. "The fact of the matter is a president of the United States is the only guy that can declassify any or all documents or systems or methods and means, and so this seems all bizarre to me."
Mastriano added that he'd like to see similar investigations on others like Hillary Clinton "who deleted 33,000 emails and, of course, it did compromise intelligence."
But the search and the potential of an indictment against Trump are "continued overreach by the Biden administration, and it's telling to us how far the extreme Democrat Party's gone," said Mastriano.
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