The video was seized upon by Dr Oz’s Democrat rival, former governor John Fetterman, whose campaign said it had raised $500,000 since Monday after the Democrat mocked the video in a viral tweet.
“When you’re campaigning 18 hours a day… Listen, I’ve gotten my kids’ names wrong as well,” Dr Oz told Newsmax on Wednesday.
“I don’t think that’s a measure of one’s ability to run the commonwealth,” he added.
Dr Oz was accused of being out of touch with voters after Mr Fetterman retweeted the viral video in which his opponent was seen picking out vegetables to make a crudité platter.
In the advertisement shot in a Pennsylvania grocery store, Dr Oz mispronounced the name of the store and called it “Wegner’s” — signs in the background clearly suggested he was at a grocery store called Redner’s.
He had mixed up the names of two separate grocery stores — Wegmans and Redner’s.
In a further lengthy and convoluted explanation for his gaffe, Dr Oz said: “When I joke about a crudité, which is a way of speaking about how ridiculous it is that you can’t even put vegetables on a plate in the middle of a campaign to do whatever we need to do to make sure the people of Pennsylvania respect what we’re about. We’re going to work as hard as we can to fix their problems. It’s what I’ve done my whole life and what I’ll continue to do.”
Mr Fetterman had on Monday retweeted the old viral crudité video of Dr Oz and mocked him by saying: “In PA we call this a... veggie tray.”
The retweet resulted in the video getting more attention on social media.
In PA we call this a... veggie tray https://t.co/nDp0Uw27zd
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) August 15, 2022
On Tuesday, he posted a video holding a vegetable tray and said: “If this looks like anything other than a Veggie Tray to you, then I am probably NOT your candidate lol.”
“Can you make a donation, any amount, to help me send him packing?” Mr Fetterman can be heard saying in the video.
In PA, we call this a Veggie Tray.
If this looks like anything other than a Veggie Tray to you, then I am probably NOT your candidate lol
Get in on the joke with me - Will you make a campaign contribution of ANY amount before the end of the night? https://t.co/wMyObj0ZNA pic.twitter.com/LHhNx0DNwv
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) August 17, 2022
Mr Fetterman’s campaign manager Brendan McPhillips noted that the reason the viral video is “resonating with supporters across Pennsylvania” is because Mr Fetterman “actually understands what it’s like to go grocery shopping and to see prices go up” and said Dr Oz seemed unrelatable to the average American.