- Trump expressed concern about the state of Dr. Oz in the Pennsylvania Senate, according to Rolling Stone.
- Trump questioned how the former talk show host is lagging in the polls given his high name recognition.
- The former president even asked allies if the public polls in the race are “bogus,” according to the report.
Former President Donald Trump said Dr. Mehmet Oz would “lose” his Pennsylvania Senate race if he didn’t change his campaign strategy and questioned how such a well-known TV personality could be lagging in the polls, according to a Rolling Stone. report
In private conversations, Trump has called for a course correction for Oz, who in recent months has seen his standing slip among Keystone State voters, according to two sources who spoke to the publication.
Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the Democratic Senate candidate, now holds steady leads in most major polls, having recently returned to the campaign trail this month following several months of recovery from a stroke in May.
However, Fetterman remained active on social media pretty much the entire time, needling Oz for his campaign’s missteps and mocking him for his longtime ties to New Jersey.
The Democratic candidate even brought in “Jersey Shore” alum Nicole LaValle, better known as Snooki, to appear in a campaign message aimed at trolling Oz for leaving the Garden State to run for Senate in pennsylvania
Trump, according to the report, is not amused by Oz’s plight, having wondered how the cardiothoracic surgeon and former talk show host could be struggling in the polls given his skyrocketing name.
The former president has even questioned whether the public poll is “fake,” but several people have informed him that the numbers are true, according to one of the sources who spoke to Rolling Stone.
“It’s not that the polls are ‘rigged,’ there are major problems with this campaign and more specifically with this candidate,” the source told the publication about Oz’s campaign.
The source also indicated that Trump said he thinks it would be “incredibly embarrassing” if Oz lost to Fetterman, whom he calls “that guy,” since the former president has a low opinion of the Democratic nominee.
Trump Says Oz’s Campaign Strategy ‘Makes No Sense’
According to another source, Trump has also questioned whether he should withhold his endorsement from Oz, according to Rolling Stone.
Trump endorsed Oz over other candidates who sought his support, including former hedge fund executive David McCormick. (McCormick narrowly lost the GOP primary to Oz by 951 votes out of more than 1.3 million votes cast).
“The [former] “The president has used words like ‘deplorable’ and ‘horrible’ and ‘makes no sense’ to describe how Dr. Oz has been campaigning against John Fetterman over the summer,” another source told Rolling Stone. “Weeks ago is when [Trump] first he started asking me and other people, “Will he lose? I’m sure I’m not the only one who tells him he probably will, unless something big changes.”
On Friday, Trump announced he would travel to Pennsylvania on Sept. 3 to pitch for Oz alongside Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, who has also been trailing in the polls against his Democratic challenger, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro .
Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich in a statement Friday refuted the Rolling Stone report, calling it “fake news.”
“Dr. Oz has been on the campaign trail championing the America First agenda and working to win the support of all Pennsylvanians. Instead, John Fetterman continues to champion radical policies that are destroying America,” she said .
The Senate contest is an open seat race due to the upcoming retirement of Republican Sen. Pat Toomey; remains by far the most promising pickup opportunity for Democrats this year.
Despite President Joe Biden’s average approval rating in Pennsylvania, Fetterman has spent years developing his own personal brand independent of national political influences and has campaigned heavily in rural and suburban communities that have drifted away from Democrats in the last decades
Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign adviser, told Rolling Stone that the former president should have refrained from endorsing the primaries earlier this year.
“President Trump was best served to at least stay neutral in the primaries,” he said. “Instead, he wholeheartedly endorsed one of the most flawed candidates Republicans have nominated nationally.”