From crudités to homes in New Jersey: A rolling list of Dr Oz’s gaffes in Pennsylvania

A campaign filled with missteps and insults in the ugliest Senate race in the country

Dr Oz says Americans 'do not have a right to health' and suggests 'festival-like' physicals

The race to replace retiring Republican Senator Pat Toomey has turned into perhaps the ugliest Senate race this midterm cycle. Republicans nominated retired physician and television host Mehmet Oz after former president Donald Trump endorsed him amid a bruising primary.

Conversely, Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, the Democratic nominee for Senate, won his primary with relative ease despite the fact that he suffered a stroke shortly before the May election. Mr Fetterman has relentlessly mocked Dr Oz for not actually residing in Pennsylvania but in neighbouring New Jersey, while Dr Oz’s campaign has hit Mr Fetterman for avoiding debates.

Polling shows the Democrat leading Dr Oz but with less than 50 days to go in the campaign, it is still anyone’s game. Here is a rolling list of gaffes by the Oz campaign.

A shopping trip for crudités

Dr Oz says he was 'exhausted' when asked about mispronouncing Wegmans

Perhaps none of Dr Oz’s actions on the campaign trail were mocked as much as when he went grocery shopping after he said his wife wanted crudités. The goal was to show the rising price of food due to inflation, and the video was initially posted in April during the primary but later picked up steam after the Twitter account @UMichvoter shared it last month.

First Twitter users mocked the former television host for mispronouncing Wegmans, a popular supermarket chain in the northeastern United States, as Wegner’s. But the video also showed him carrying tons of vegetables for the requisite dish, as well as guacamole and salsa, without a shopping cart, which he said amounted to $20. “And this doesn’t include the tequila,” Dr Oz remarked.

Dr Oz later blamed “exhaustion” when asked about mispronouncing the grocery store name. But in response, Mr Fetterman reportedly raised half-a-million dollars.

Misspelling the name of the town where he reportedly is based

Democrats have hit Dr Oz for not actually living in Pennsylvania. As a result, many people have criticised him for not actually knowing certain places in the state where he is running.

In June, Sy Snyder of PoliticsPA.com noted that his candidacy filing listed his address as “Huntington Valley”. The problem? No such place exists in Pennsylvania, though there is a place called “Huntingdon Valley”.

But this wasn’t the last time that Dr Oz would flub the name of a town. During an interview late last month with KDKA, he said he had a rally in “Monroesville”, despite the fact the town is called Monroeville.

Cheesesteaks

Philadelphia is, of course, home to the titular cheesesteak sandwich, a delicacy that has previously tripped up candidates. In 2003, John Kerry, who was running for president at the time, ordered a hoagie with Swiss cheese instead of Cheeze Whiz, American or Provolone, which was relentlessly mocked.

When Dr Oz visited the City of Brotherly Love in July, he made a visit to Pat’s, which is considered a tourist trap and not where locals go to enjoy a genuine roll filled with shaved beef, peppers, onions and cheese.

“Ah yes, the trip to Pats + Geno’s – a rite of passage for every tourist,” Mr Fetterman tweeted at the time.

Vegetables

After the crudité video, Dr Oz’s campaign went on the offensive. Part of this was to convince Mr Fetterman to debate their candidate given that he had said he was still recovering from his stroke. But spokeswoman Rachel Tripp focused on Mr Fetterman’s stroke when responding to a question about the video. “If John Fetterman had ever eaten a vegetable in his life, then maybe he wouldn't have had a major stroke and wouldn't be in the position of having to lie about it constantly,” she told Business Insider.

Later, in the same interview where he flubbed the name of Monroeville, Dr Oz attempted to distance himself from the comments.

“The campaign’s been saying lots of things. My position is — I can only speak to what I’m saying,” he said. But it wouldn’t be the last time Dr Oz’s campaign attacked Mr Fetterman on his health.

Medical personnel

Shortly after the comments about vegetables, the Oz campaign continued to hit Mr Fetterman for what they saw as ducking debates. In turn, the campaign released a list of cheeky “concessions”, saying Dr Oz “promises not to intentionally hurt John’s feelings at any point,” and adding, “At any point, John Fetterman can raise his hand and say ‘bathroom break!’” But moreover, the campaign also said “We will pay for any additional medical personnel he might need to have on standby.” In response, Mr Fetterman pulled out of the debate. However, the two will square off next month on 25 October.

The number of Dr Oz’s homes

Dr Oz’s wealth from his time as a television host has become the source of considerable scrutiny. The Daily Beast reported that last month, a Democratic campaign operative asked him how many homes he had. In response he said, “Legitimately, I own two houses,” before adding, “But one of them we're building on, the other ones I rent.”

But The Beast reported that he actually owns 10 properties. In response, Mr Fetterman’s campaign made a video mocking the number of homes he has, including two in Turkey, two condominiums in New York and a mansion in New Jersey, among others.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in