Democrats attack both Oz and McCormick in Pennsylvania Senate race ads
The recount of Pennsylvania’s Republican Senate photo-finish primary won’t be revealed until June 8, but Democrats aren’t waiting to try to smear the two possible winners, Dr. Mehmet Oz and David McCormick.
The Senate Democrats’ campaign arm released prototype attack ads Thursday against the two candidates, building on the theme that Dr. Oz, the celebrity doctor, and Mr. McCormick, a former fund executive speculative, are out-of-state carpet baggers. The ads provide a glimpse of how the general election could play out in one of the most critical midterm contests for Senate control.
The 30-second spots depict Dr. Oz, who held a small lead in the recount and declared himself the “presumptive” candidate, as “claiming to be from Pennsylvania”. Mr McCormick, a former hedge fund executive, is being attacked for “moving from Connecticut to buy a Senate seat”.
The ad maker, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, does not pay to have the spots shown on the airwaves or on digital screens; he offered them to the news media as a preview of a paid campaign in the fall, and in the hope that they would be shared on social media. Axios has already flagged the ads.
The committee has earmarked an initial $3 million for ads in the Pennsylvania Senate race, where the retirement of Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican, has created an open seat.
The attacks – including that Dr. Oz is a Hollywood guy who promoted questionable medical claims on television and that Mr. McCormick is a friend of China who outsourced jobs to a Pittsburgh company – are likely already familiar to many voters in Pennsylvania, who have been stuck. with the same material in the primer. The super-rich candidates and their allies spent tens of millions of dollars on attack ads ahead of the May 17 primary.
Dr Oz was leading by less than 1,000 votes, or 0.07%, when the recount began on Friday. Armies of lawyers for both candidates continue to fight for every vote in county election commissions and in court.
With the race on hold for more than two weeks, Democratic nominee Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has been largely out of the spotlight, which could benefit him politically as he recovers from a stroke he suffered just before polling day. He hasn’t made any public appearances since then and currently has none scheduled. His campaign repeated this week that he was on the road to a full recovery, but questions about his health swirled as his campaign declined requests from reporters to speak with Mr Fetterman or his doctors about his condition. Tuesday he posted on Twitter a short speech thanking members of the Democratic House of Pennsylvania for their endorsements.
A spokeswoman for Dr. Oz, Brittany Yanick, did not respond directly to the Democratic committee’s attack announcement, but called the “Biden/Fetterman agenda” bad for Pennsylvania. “John Fetterman’s radical agenda is hurting Pennsylvanians and making our communities less safe,” she said.
Mr. McCormick’s campaign responded in a similar fashion, focusing on the “Biden and John Fetterman agenda” but arguing that Mr. McCormick is the best-positioned candidate to defeat Mr. Fetterman this fall.