PENNSYLVANIA – Dr. Mehmet Oz, television personality, retired physician, and current Republican political candidate, was a guest on Fox News on Thursday, where he discussed the very tight battle he’s involved in as he vies for the GOP nomination in Pennsylvania’s Senate race, which is to be decided during the upcoming November midterm elections.
Oz is very narrowly ahead of a packed field of fellow Republicans; currently, polling indicates he’s leading with 22 percent, followed by Dave McCormick at 20 percent and Kathy Barnette at 19 percent; the remaining candidates in the race are trailing far behind these three contenders.
Former President Donald Trump made headlines in April when he endorsed Oz in his bid for a Senate seat, saying at the time that his fellow TV personality-turned-politician had an excellent chance of getting elected… especially due to the fact that he now had Trump’s official backing.
“This is all about winning elections in order to stop the radical left maniacs from destroying our country,” Trump said at the time. “I have known Dr. Oz for many years as have many others, even if only through his very successful television show. He has lived with us through the screen and has always been popular, respected, and smart.”
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“He even said that I was in extraordinary health, which made me like him even more,” Trump added. “Although he also said I should lose a couple of pounds!”
During the Fox News interview, clips were played of Oz’s GOP opponents criticizing his lack of political experience, saying that the former heart surgeon was simply relying on Trump’s endorsement to get ahead and little else.
Oz was asked if Trump’s endorsement alone was indeed be enough to propel him over the finish line and gain the GOP nomination, or if he had more to offer the voters of Pennsylvania.
“I offer a lot more, but President Trump’s endorsement opens people’s minds,” Oz answered. “They call you back, they take meetings, which is an important opportunity for a candidate to articulate why they’re the best person. I’m strongly pro-life, I’m strongly in favor of the Second Amendment.”
Oz called the negative comments made about his lack of experience “attacks” driven by $35 million dollars of negative advertising from “out-of-state” donors, and said that Trump had warned him that getting smeared is par for the course when outsiders attempt to penetrate the delicate political ecosystem in the United States.
“President Trump warned me, when you’re an outsider, the insiders and the establishment come after you with everything they’ve got,” he said. “And I’ve been able to stand on my own two feet very proudly and live up to the promise of my campaign, which is identifying why Washington is getting it wrong, why do they not align with our values, and knowing that I can go to Washington and be a bold, loud voice for our Commonwealth. That’s what everyone I’m talking to is looking for, and I can deliver that.”
Oz was also slammed by Republican opponent Kathy Barnette over claims that he has flip-flopped numerous times on several major issues, including abortion; Oz addressed that accusation during the interview as well, saying that while he is indeed pro-life, he does support provisions to abortion laws to protect the lives of mothers during difficult pregnancies.
“I said an interview that I was against a law in Alabama that would ban abortions and all exceptions,” he said. “And I’m of the belief as a doctor that if the life of the mother is truly at risk, that will be an exception that is acceptable. And I understand Kathy Barnette does not like that, and I, as a heart surgeon, I respect the sanctity of life and believe that life starts at conception.”