HUNTINGDON VALLEY, Pa. — Over the weekend, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette endorsed Dr. Oz to serve as Pennsylvania’s next U.S. Senator, writing: “In a race on which much depends and little is certain, Mehmet Oz has shown he is better equipped to lead and deliver for Pennsylvania.”
“I started my campaign doing what any good doctor should do: I listened. I heard from Pennsylvanians who want a bold leader who will restore balance in Washington – not more of the same extremism and radical policies we continue to hear from my opponent. I believe we can come together to cut inflation, make our streets safer, end the drug crisis, and restore Pennsylvania’s energy sector as a world leader. I promise never to stop listening and to be a strong voice for the people of Pennsylvania in the United States Senate,” said Dr. Mehmet Oz.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Editorial:
Better bet: Despite turbulent Senate race, Oz better prepared to lead
Concerns about Fetterman
A retired cardiothoracic surgeon, Mr. Oz, 62, led the Emmy-Award winning Dr. Oz show for 13 years. Mr. Fetterman, 53, has one-term as Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor, a job with few official responsibilities, aside from serving as acting governor whenever the governor leaves the state. He is the former mayor of Braddock, a borough of 2,000 residents. Although the job paid $150 a month, Mr. Fetterman could make it, in effect, a full-time position because of his family’s support.
Mr. Fetterman’s health — he suffered a serious stroke in May — is not the issue. His lack of transparency, however, in refusing to release his medical records is troubling. It suggests an impulse to conceal and a mistrust of the people. All candidates for a major elected office should release their medical records, as did Mr. Oz. If you want privacy, don’t run for public office.
Mr. Fetterman’s life experience and maturity are also concerns. He has lived off his family’s money for much of his life. That has allowed him to do some good things, including mentoring disadvantaged young people and working to improve community policing and economic development in Braddock. That work, along with his six-foot-eight frame, shaved head and tattoos, attracted national media attention. Still, Mr. Fetterman, despite his hoodies and shorts, has little experience in holding real jobs or facing the problems of working people.
In 2013, as the mayor of Braddock, Mr. Fetterman, after hearing gunshots, pulled a shotgun on an unarmed Black jogger. It was, we believe, an honest mistake. Still, it’s troubling that Mr. Fetterman never apologized for it. And during Tuesday’s debate, confronted with his 2018 statement that he didn’t support fracking, Mr. Fetterman still said, with a straight face, that he always supported fracking.
Mr. Oz is extraordinarily wealthy, but achieved his worldwide fame and success largely through his own talent and determination. His father, Mustafa Oz, a successful Turkish-American surgeon, was born in a poor farming village in Turkey.
Unlike most Republican politicians, candidate Oz spent a lot of time in poor urban neighborhoods, talking to people and, most important, listening and learning. He is more moderate on some issues than portrayed. We don’t believe he will be a stooge for the far right or Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. We hope that Mr. Oz will disappoint them and serve in the Pennsylvania tradition of moderate Republicans, such U.S. Sens. John Heinz, Hugh Scott, and Richard Schweiker.
We’re encouraged that Mr. Oz is portraying himself as a unifier who will work with Democrats to get things done for Pennsylvania. It remains to be seen whether he can pull that off, but he has the potential to become an influential, thoughtful and independent senator. Mr. Oz is likable, engaging, extremely smart and a good listener. Yes, he can sound like a smooth-talking salesman, but that may be what it takes to get deals done in Washington.
In a race on which much depends and little is certain, Mehmet Oz has shown he is better equipped to lead and deliver for Pennsylvania.
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