The self-destruction of Mehmet Oz’s Senate campaign in Pennsylvania accelerated as his staff said that John Fetterman had a stroke because he didn’t eat vegetables.
Last Monday John Fetterman, Oz’s Democratic opponent, resurfaced a video Oz recorded in what he called a “Wegners” — a mishmash of the Redner’s and Wegmans grocery store chains — shopping for “crudité” and complaining about inflation. Fetterman’s comment: “in PA, we call this a veggie tray.”
In an exclusive statement as part of Insider’s investigation into Oz, the doctor’s campaign jabbed back. “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,” Rachel Tripp, Oz’s senior communications advisor, said.
The Oz campaign is blaming a stroke victim for his stroke and more broadly blaming all stroke victims in Pennsylvania for their strokes, as the campaign is implying that if Pennsylvanians weren’t so fat, they wouldn’t have strokes.
This is NOT a winning strategy in any state.
The Oz campaign has the subtlety of dentistry without anesthetic. A more tactful campaign would have concerns about Fetterman’s health and asked if could do the job. It would not have worked, but it would have been more tasteful.
At the heart of the Oz campaign’s contempt for Pennsylvania stroke victims is the fact that they are losing badly to John Fetterman. Oz has been popping up in the rural red parts of the state, not in vegetable gardens but in diners and restaurants.
Oz said during a recent stop at a restaurant in Indiana, PA, “When you mix politics with medicine, you get politics.”
Mehmet Oz should deliver that message to his own campaign.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association