Dr. Mehmet Oz, who announced his GOP candidacy for U.S. Senate last week, has a long history of donating to Democratic campaigns.
Oz, a celebrity TV doctor, announced that he is running for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania as a Republican on Tuesday. Oz is running for the seat Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) is vacating at the end of this term in January 2023.
The former frontrunner in the GOP primary, Sean Parnell, suspended his campaign last month after losing a custody battle to his estranged wife, who accused him of spousal and child abuse. Toomey’s seat must be held by Republicans in the battleground state as the GOP pushes to win control of Congress in 2022.
Oz, apparently sensing opportunity with Parnell’s exit, is making his Senate bid as a Republican after decades of contributing to notable Democrats such as John Kerry. Logan Ratick, Newsmax’s national correspondent, listed some of Oz’s past political donations in a Twitter thread Thursday. Oz donated to Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in 2011, former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles’ losing 2004 campaign for U.S. Senate in North Carolina, former New York Rep. Charlie Rangel in 2001, and to U.S. Climate Czar John Kerry’s 2001 U.S. Senate campaign in Massachusetts.
In an interview on Fox News after announcing his run, Oz elaborated on his friendship with Oprah Winfrey, a well-known Democrat. Oz said he asked Winfrey for advice on his decision to run.
“She told me to follow my heart,” Oz said. “She’s been a wonderful mentor to me, fairest woman I’ve ever worked with, and a great, sage adviser of mine.”
“I don’t want her to get involved in any way,” he added. “I don’t want to hurt her … I don’t want people to have to take bullets when I should be taking them myself.”
He added that he would be calling and asking her for advice, however. “I’ll be calling her and asking her for advice and [be] interested in her comments,” he said.
Oz announced his run in an op-ed for The Washington Examiner on Tuesday.
“We are angry at our government and at each other,” he wrote. “We have not managed our crises as effectively as past generations. During the pandemic, I learned that when you mix politics and medicine, you get politics instead of solutions. That’s why I am running for the U.S. Senate: to help fix the problems and to help us heal.”
Throughout the piece, Oz ripped into the government’s response to the pandemic, claiming that government mandates caused unnecessary suffering and death. Oz wrote:
The reality of our challenges has crystallized during the pandemic. Over 750,000 in the United States have died from the virus, a devastating toll for families and communities. Many of those deaths were preventable. COVID-19 became an excuse for the government and elite thinkers who controlled the means of communication to suspend debate. Dissenting opinions from leading scholars were ridiculed and canceled so their ideas could not be disseminated.
Instead, the government mandated policies that caused unnecessary suffering. The public was patronized and misled instead of empowered. We were told to lock down quietly and let those in charge take care of the rest. When we tested positive for the virus, we were also told to wait at home until our lips turned blue and we got sick enough to warrant hospitalization. To be clear, this is not a typical medical protocol. Elites with yards told those without yards to stay inside, where the virus was more likely to spread. And the arrogant, closed-minded people in charge closed our parks, shuttered our schools, shut down our businesses, and took away our freedom.