Republican candidate for the Pennsylvania Senate, Dr. Mehmet Oz insisted Thursday morning that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was not referring to him when he bemoaned the “candidate quality” of some of the party’s nominees.
Downplaying expectations of a “red wave” sweeping Democrats from the Senate majority, McConnell said last week that “the House is probably more likely to overturn than the Senate.” Without naming names, the Kentucky lawmaker suggested that a slew of inexperienced Trump-backed candidates will weigh on the GOP’s chances.
“Senate races are just different – they’re statewide, the quality of the candidate has a lot to do with the outcome,” he categorically told the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
Oz, who currently trails Democratic opponent John Fetterman by double digits in a series of recent polls, denied to Fox Business Network anchor Maria Bartiromo that the GOP Senate leader thinks he was among those low-quality candidates. .
“Are you getting support from the Republican Party?” Bartyromo started. “Look, let’s face it, people got a little relaxed 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 some bad candidates.'”
The pro-Trump business presenter wondered: “Was he talking about you?”
“He wasn’t,” Oz declared confidently. “And I’ll tell you, he expressed himself very clearly with his wallet. He put $34 million on my run. This is a lot of money.”
The TV doctor continued, “And if you really listen carefully to what he was saying, he was putting a lot of emphasis on the quality of candidates in a state run. It always matters. When you have to talk to a lot of voters, you have to make sure you’re out there. I have been tireless. I have campaigned tirelessly.”
Oz then made a not-so-subtle assessment of the health of Fetterman, who is recovering from a stroke he suffered a few months ago. The Oz campaign recently provoked a backlash by saying that the Democratic candidate would not have had the stroke if he had “ever eaten a vegetable” in his life.
“My opponent left the house twice to campaign,” said Oz. “People in Pennsylvania want change. I am the candidate for change.”
While Trump-endorsed Oz is disclosing the amount of money the Senate Leadership Fund has pledged to spend to promote his campaign, the Senate Republican National Committee recently slashed millions of dollars in ads in Pennsylvania and other key Party states. Republican where the GOP candidates are fighting.
Furthermore, Oz had a hard time gaining traction with Pennsylvania voters, especially since Fetterman and the Democrats portrayed him as a reckless elitist. The New Jersey native was not helped by recent headlines showing him complaining about the price of putting together a plate of crudité or being misled about the number of homes he owns. (The answer is 10, by the way.)
Former President Donald Trump, unsurprisingly, did not like McConnell’s apparent blow to his handpicked candidates.
After deriding the top GOP senator as a “broken hack” who should spend “less time helping his crazy wife and family get rich in China,” Trump called on Republicans to oust McConnell from the leadership. Elaine Chao, McConnell’s wife, served as Trump’s transportation secretary.
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