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Oz Offers Takes on 2020 Election and Trump, Chastises Fetterman for Not Debating

Celebrity surgeon and Pennsylvania GOP Senate nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz said at a press conference in Philadelphia on Sept. 6 that he would have voted to certify the 2020 presidential election results but would have not voted to impeach former President Donald Trump.

“By the time the delegates and those reports were sent to the U.S. Senate, our job was to approve it, which is what I would have done,” Oz said.

Oz, who is endorsed by Trump, said he would not have supported the former president’s impeachment because he was “already leaving office by then.”

Standing alongside retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, whose seat Oz and Democratic nominee John Fetterman are vying for, Oz also chastised Fetterman for not agreeing to debate.

Epoch Times Photo
Mehmet Oz, who is running for the US Senate, speaks as former U.S. President Donald Trump stands behind him during a campaign rally at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on Sept. 3, 2022. (Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images)

During the press conference, Oz also clarified part of his stance on abortion. He said he would not support criminal penalties for women who have abortions or doctors offering the care. Oz added that he is “strongly pro-life” but believes in exceptions with rape or incest cases, or if the mother’s life is at risk.

The Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year to overturn Roe v. Wade has emerged as a key issue in the 2022 midterm elections.

Oz defended Roe v. Wade as recently as 2019, yet he says he is “100 percent pro-life” on his campaign website. In May, before the Republican primary, Oz said at a town hall event that he believes   “life starts at conception” and “if life starts at conception, why do you care what age the heart starts beating at? It’s, you know, it’s still murder, if you were to terminate a child whether their heart’s beating or not.”

Fetterman’s campaign has claimed that electing Oz to the Senate would serve as a step toward criminalizing abortion, which prompted Oz to clarify his position.

A significant portion of the press conference was dedicated to questions about Fetterman’s health and the Pennsylvania lieutenant governor’s refusal to debate Oz.

Last month, Oz formally challenged John Fetterman to five Pennsylvania Senate debates leading up to Nov. 8, including a first forum that would have been held on Sept. 6 in Pittsburgh.

The Oz campaign told Fetterman it would “pay for any additional medical personnel” he might need to have on standby, and that it would also allow him bathroom breaks, permit him to have notes, and wear an earpiece for communication with his staff.

Fetterman later rejected Oz’s offer for the first debate, telling reporters that his opponent’s campaign “made it abundantly clear that they think it is funny to mock a stroke survivor.”

“I’m eager to put my record and my values up against Dr. Oz’s any day of the week,” Fetterman said in a statement. “As I recover from this stroke and improve my auditory processing and speech, I look forward to continuing to meet with the people of Pennsylvania.”

Also on Sept. 6,  the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial board questioned Fetterman’s unwillingness or inability to debate.

“If Mr. Fetterman is not well enough to debate his opponent, that raises serious concerns about his ability to serve as a United States senator,” the editorial board wrote.

At the press conference, Oz told reporters that Pennsylvania voters deserve to hear the candidates discuss issues face to face.

“I am focused on the issues. I’m not hearing issues being discussed by John Fetterman,” Oz said.

“John Fetterman is either healthy and he’s dodging the debate because he does not want to answer for his radical left positions, or he’s too sick to participate in the debate,” Oz added, before introducing Toomey.

A three-term congressman before he was first elected to the Senate in 2011, Toomey praised Oz for having “a great American story.”

“He is the son of immigrants, became a world-renowned surgeon, trained here in Philadelphia, invented medical devices that have saved thousands of lives, and has done charitable work that has saved thousands of lives,” Toomey said. “What’s even more important is what he stands for.

“Dr. Oz is on the right side and John Fetterman is on the wrong side. He [Fetterman] is further left than anyone Pennsylvania has sent [to Washington],” Toomey added. “Releasing inmates, supporting sanctuary cities, taxes and spending, the energy and the economy—he is a Bernie Sanders-AOC Socialist. The policies he supports will just make problems in Pennsylvania worse.”

Toomey then moved on to the subject of debates, saying that he did not like the process but believes debates “are an important part of the Democratic process.”

“This campaign has one candidate, Dr. Oz, who wants to engage in a robust debate of the differences, and another candidate who sits at home and does social media all day. He attends few public events and answers no questions from the press,” Toomey said.

“There are only two reasons why he has not agreed to debate. One could be he doesn’t want his radical record scrutinized. His positions are far outside of the mainstream, so I understand why he wants to hide that,” Toomey continued.

“If hiding his views is not the reason, then what else? We all know he had a serious stroke a few months ago. He said he is feeling fantastic and there are only lingering effects now and then. If this is true, why won’t you agree to debate?”

“As someone who served in the United States Senate for almost 12 years now, I have a really good understanding of how the place works,” Toomey said. “If John Fetterman were elected to the Senate, and he’s not able to communicate, if he’s not able to engage with the press, if he’s not able to engage with his colleagues, he would not be able to do the job. It’s just not possible.”

John Fetterman
John Fetterman fills out his emergency absentee ballot for the Pennsylvania primary election in Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital in Lancaster, Pa., on May, 17, 2022. (Bobby Maggio via AP)

Fetterman spokesperson Joe Calvello responded after the press conference, releasing a statement pointing out that the lieutenant governor marched in a Labor Day parade on Sept. 5 and then spoke at two events.

“Anyone who’s seen John speak knows that while he’s still recovering, he’s more capable of fighting for PA than Dr. Oz will ever be,” Calvello said in the statement. “And anyone who’s seen Dr. Oz speak knows he’s a complete fraud.

“We have said repeatedly that we are open to debating Oz, and we’re talking with networks, but let’s be clear: This isn’t about debates. This is about mocking John for having a stroke because they’ve got nothing else, and because they don’t want to talk about the fact that Oz wants to ban abortions and believes all abortion is murder,” Calvello added.

Fetterman has led Oz in multiple polls, but he has made few public appearances since suffering the stroke. Fetterman and his campaign have trolled Oz on social media with memes, most of which depict him as a wealthy carpetbagger from New Jersey, though Oz graduated from medical school and was married in Pennsylvania.

Oz was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to parents who immigrated from Turkey. He attended a prep school in Delaware and earned an undergraduate degree from Harvard University, where he played football and water polo. In 1986, he earned both an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and an MBA from The Wharton School.

Oz owns a multimillion-dollar mansion overlooking the Hudson River in New Jersey, but in late 2020 he moved into a house owned by his wife’s family in suburban Philadelphia, according to his campaign staff.

He and his wife are living there until renovations are completed on a home they purchased in the same community, said campaign spokeswoman Brittany Yanick.

Fetterman is ahead of Oz in polls and fundraising.

The Senate Leadership Fund, a PAC with ties to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, said it added $9.5 million to its TV ad buy, elevating its overall financial commitment to $34.1 million.

As of Aug. 30, Inside Elections and Sabato’s Crystal Ball call the Oz-Fetterman race a “toss-up” while the Cook Political Report rates it as “Lean Democratic.”

Jeff Louderback


Jeff Louderback is a national reporter for The Epoch Times who is based in Ohio and covers U.S. Senate, U.S. House and gubernatorial races in Ohio and surrounding states.

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