Conservatives on Twitter were quick to point out that Oz previously expressed support for Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized abortion nationally, and dedicated an episode of his long-running television show to transgender children.
‘This is not very conservative, Doc!’ commented Jack Posobiec of Human Events, a Pennsylvania native, sharing vintage footage of Oz’s episode on transgender kids.
Conservatives are grumbling over former President Donald Trump’s (left) decision to back Dr. Mehmet Oz (right) in the May 17 Republican Senate primary
Human Events’ Jack Posobiec, a Pennsylvania native, tweeted out footage of a vintage Dr. Oz episode that focused on transgender children
Posobiec also highlighted an Oz tweet from 2018 that suggested the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should conduct a study on gun violence
Trump’s previous selection for Pennsylvania Senate, Sean Parnell, quickly came out against his endorsement of Oz
Pundit Erick Erickson tweeted Saturday night: ‘It’s like Donald Trump’s staff is sabotaging Trump by convincing him to make the worst possible endorsements’
Rep. Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican who lost Trump’s Senate endorsement when he encouraged a Trump rally audience to move on from the ex-president’s false 2020 election fraud claims, also criticized the pick
Posobiec also called Oz the ‘Romney of PA’ and highlighted an Oz tweet from 2018 in which the television personality says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should partake in a gun violence study.
Trump had originally backed Sean Parnell, who pulled out of the race amid a custody dispute with his ex-wife, with a judge finding her abuse allegations credible.
Parnell started criticizing Trump’s endorsement of Oz in the hours following the statement’s release.
‘You’re not America First. You’re not a conservative. You’re not even from Pennsylvania. Hell no,’ Parnell tweeted, sharing Oz’s tweet announcing Trump’s endorsement.
Conservative pundit Erick Erickson blasted Trump’s inner circle for giving him bad advice.
‘It’s like Donald Trump’s staff is sabotaging Trump by convincing him to make the worst possible endorsements,’ Erickson tweeted Saturday night, shortly after Trump made his choice of Oz public.
While Trump backing a fellow TV personality isn’t surprising, it is when some of Trump’s former top aides – including Hope Hicks and Stephen Miller – are helping Oz’s rival, Pennsylvania Senate hopeful David McCormick, with his campaign.
Rep. Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican who lost Trump’s Senate endorsement when he encouraged a Trump rally audience to move on from the ex-president’s false 2020 election fraud claims, also criticized the pick.
‘This is happening because Trump’s surrounded himself by staff who are on McConnell’s payroll & hostile to the MAGA agenda,’ Brooks said. ‘Everybody telling Trump who to endorse in primaries works for The Swamp.’
‘They played him. Again,’ Brooks said.
The Pennsylvania-based Washington Examiner writer Salena Zito interviewed grassroots Republican activists about Trump’s decision to back his fellow TV personality, and they were not impressed.
‘President Trump was very out of sync in picking Oz,’ Dave Ball, the chairman of the Washington County Republican Party, told Zito. ‘I’d like to know who it is who lives in Pennsylvania that knows the voters well told Trump to pick Oz.’
‘I think that President Trump very, very seldom does anything that’s not thought out and doesn’t have a very reasoned and logical basis, but, for whatever reason, in this particular instance, he chose to ignore all of that and endorse Oz,’ Ball added.
Ball told Zito he had been fielding calls from conservatives grumbling about Trump’s pick.
‘People have been calling me all day and asking, “What the hell was he thinking?”‘ Ball said.
Trump made the announcement Saturday evening in the run-up to his North Carolina rally.
The ex-president said Oz would do well in traditionally Democratic Pittsburgh and Philadelphia ‘where other candidates will just not be accepted.’
‘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,’ Trump said in a statement. ‘He even said that I was in extraordinary health, which made me like him even more (although he also said I should lose a couple of pounds!),’ Trump added.
Trump also predicted Oz would be a hit with female Republican voters.
‘Women, in particular, are drawn to Dr. Oz for his advice and counsel,’ Trump said. ‘I have seen this many times over the years. They know him, believe in him, and trust him.’
Zito found that wasn’t necessarily the case.
Nottingham township resident Heather Wilhelm told The Washington Examiner writer that she wouldn’t be voting for Oz – despite being a Trump supporter.
Wilhelm suggested other conservatives would follow suit.
‘In talking to other conservative voters in my cricles, there hasn’t been a lot of support for Dr. Oz,’ Wilhelm said. ‘I think maybe the people Oz attracts are moderate voters,’ she added.