Dr. Pennsylvania Senate GOP candidate Mehmet Oz insisted Thursday morning that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was not referring to him when he bemoaned the “quality of the candidate” of some of the party’s candidates.
Downplaying expectations of a “red wave” sweeping Democrats from the Senate majority, McConnell said last week that “there’s probably a greater chance that the House will be overturned than the Senate.” Without naming names, the Kentucky lawmaker suggested a string of inexperienced candidates backed by Trump would weigh on the GOP’s chances.
“Senate races are just different — they’re statewide, the quality of the candidates has a lot to do with the outcome,” he emphatically told the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
Oz, who currently trails Democratic challenger John Fetterman by double digits in a series of recent polls, denied to Fox Business Network host Maria Bartiromo that the Senate GOP leader believes he was among those low-quality candidates.
“Do you get support from the Republican Party?” Bartiromo began. “Look, let’s face it, people took a bit of a step back the other day when Mitch McConnell came out and said, ‘Well, it’s probably 50/50, we’re not going to win because we have bad candidates.’
The pro-Trump business host wondered, “Was he talking about you?”
“It wasn’t,” Oz stated confidently. “And I’ll tell you, he expressed himself clearly with his pocketbook. He has put 34 million dollars into my race. That’s a lot of money.”
The TV doctor continued: “And if you really listen carefully to what he was saying, he was underlining the quality of the candidates matters a lot in a national race. It always matters. When you have to talk to a lot of voters, you have to make sure you’re out there. I was tireless. I have campaigned tirelessly.”
Oz then makes a relentless inquiry into the health of Fetterman, who is recovering from a stroke he suffered a few months ago. Oz’s campaign recently sparked backlash by saying the Democratic nominee wouldn’t have a stroke if he “ever ate a vegetable” in his life.
“My opponent left his house twice to campaign,” Oz said. “People in Pennsylvania want change. I am the candidate for change.”
While Trump-backed Oz touts the amount of money the Senate Leadership Fund has pledged to spend promoting his campaign, the National Republican Senatorial Committee recently cut millions of advertising dollars in Pennsylvania and other key GOP states. where the Republican Party candidates are running.
Additionally, Oz has struggled to gain traction with Pennsylvania voters, especially as Fetterman and Democrats have portrayed him as an out-of-touch elitist. The New Jersey native hasn’t been helped by recent headlines showing him complaining about the price of putting together a platter or fudging the number of homes he owns. (The answer is 10, by the way.)
Former President Donald Trump, predictably, did not take kindly to McConnell’s apparent attack on his chosen candidates.
After mocking the top GOP senator as a “damaged hack” who should spend “less time helping his crazy wife and family get rich in China,” Trump called on Republicans to remove McConnell from the leadership. Elaine Chao, McConnell’s wife, served as Trump’s transportation secretary.
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