Dr. Oz and old primary foe David McCormick to reunite
Once fierce rivals in a heated Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary, Dr. Mehmet Oz and David McCormick are poised to reunite publicly for the first time since Oz’s narrow primary victory.
Oz and McCormick will participate in a panel about national securities matters next Wednesday overseen by former Trump administration State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus, Politico reported. The panel will reportedly feature a discussion on a range of national security issues, such as the southern border crisis, China, the Iran nuclear deal, and more.
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“I think showing party unity and cohesion on something as important as national security topics that we are discussing that will be front and center in the new Congress is an important signal to Republicans around Pennsylvania who supported McCormick,” Ortagus explained.
Following Oz’s sub-1,000-vote victory for the Republican nod to replace Sen. Pat Toomey, McCormick offered a public concession and urged his supporters to back Oz. A multimillionaire, McCormick later donated the maximum permitted to his onetime rival. The duo has spoken in the time since their primary, the report noted.
During the bruising primary battle, McCormick and his backers cut myriad scathing attack ads ripping Oz for not being conservative enough on hot-button topics like abortion.
Oz left the primary wounded and substantially underwater in polling against Democratic contender John Fetterman, who has similarly hit Oz with an onslaught of blistering ads deriding him as a carpetbagger and caricaturing him as an out-of-touch rich celebrity.
Polls appear to have tightened in recent weeks as disgruntled McCormick voters rally back to Oz, but Fetterman, who is facing questions about his health, still has the edge and is up 7.4 points in the latest RealClearPolitics aggregate. Given the 50-50 split in the Senate, the Pennsylvania race could be paramount to determining the balance of power in the upper chamber after the midterm elections.
“It’s a close race, and one of the reasons it’s a close race is because it was a bruising primary, and every vote is going to matter in Pennsylvania,” Ortagus added, per the report.
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Ortagus vied for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District earlier this cycle, but she was booted from the ballot by the Tennessee Republican Party for allegedly lacking Republican “bona fides” and not meeting the party’s qualification standards. Like Oz, she had been backed by former President Donald Trump.
Her nonprofit group Polaris National Security will host the event. The panel will also feature John Ratcliffe, former director of national intelligence.