First-time candidate Dr. Oz is trailing his Democratic opponent in Pennsylvania.
A GOP strategist says "it might be an even fight" — if Oz was actually involved in the Senate race.
Recent reports have Oz summer vacationing, while Fetterman has been convalescing since May.
Political neophyte Dr. Oz might have a decent shot at keeping Pennsylvania's open Senate seat red if he bothered to do the work, a GOP strategist said of the vacationing, Trump-backed candidate who is currently trailing Democratic rival John Fetterman.
"If Oz wasn't mentally and physically on vacation, it might be an even fight," Keith Naughton, a Republican strategist turned cofounder of political consulting firm Silent Majority Strategies, told The Hill about the pivotal contest to replace retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey and possibly tip the balance of power in the 50-50 Senate. And embattled former President Donald Trump is fuming about Oz running "a terrible campaign," according to Radar Online.
Oz campaign spokeswoman Brittany Yanick countered the critiques by mapping out how busy her boss has been in recent weeks. "Since winning the primary, Dr. Oz has made over 120 campaign stops," she told Insider, adding that he's logged nearly 2,500 miles while "crisscrossing the state to speak with voters in all four corners of the Commonwealth."
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We call him Dr. Oz, Doc Hollywood, or sometimes just "weirdo who hawks phony diet pills on TV"
Let's make sure that we *never* have to call him Senator.
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) July 31, 2022
"Fetterman's Twitter assault has worked mostly because it is unopposed," Naughton said, adding that Democrats' digs about Oz being a carpetbagger work because "Pennsylvania is a very parochial state, so the 'outsider' argument is always powerful."
Oz hasn't helped himself on that front, even flubbing the name of the Keystone State town where he's claimed residency. Puck News also reported that the former TV star was bopping around Palm Beach, Florida, and parts of Europe recently — even as a GOP primary recount was underway.
Oz took a page from Trump's pandemic-related attacks on Joe Biden in 2020, blasting out daily "basement tracker" emails questioning why Fetterman hasn't been on the campaign trail lately.
🚨 It’s been 80 DAYS since John Fetterman’s last public campaign event. pic.twitter.com/OELcs48PSb
— Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz) July 31, 2022
Fetterman's protracted absence allows him to escape intense media scrutiny, Yanick said.
"He has stayed hidden in his basement, defending his radical policies, like releasing one-third of the prison population and eliminating lifetime sentences for violent murderers, from behind the safety of a keyboard," she wrote in an email. "Pennsylvanians deserve a senator who will show up and stand up for them."
Read the original article on Business Insider