Dr. Mehmet Oz struck back at a viral campaign Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, his Democrat challenger for the U.S. Senate, has made around a video Oz had posted about shopping for raw vegetables for "crudité."
Oz insisted Wednesday on Newsmax that his grocery store visit shows how he's relatable to the "everyday, hardworking Americans" in the state.
"I rolled my sleeves up my whole life," Oz, the GOP nominee in the race, told Newsmax's "National Report."
"I've taken care of patients, saved lives, invented devices. I've started foundations where we take care of tens of thousands of teens around the country, trying to help wherever I can. That's what my life's been about."
However, he said that when "I joke about 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, we will do whatever we need to do to make sure that people of Pennsylvania respect what we're about and that we're going to work as hard as we can to fix their problems."
In the video, Oz talks to the camera while he pulls various raw vegetables from a produce department at a Wegmans store, which he calls "Wegners," saying he's there to shop for "crudité" for his wife while commenting on the high prices of the items and blaming that on President Joe Biden's economy.
Fetterman has raised a reported $500,000 this week after posting the video on Twitter and portraying Oz as an out-of-touch millionaire, reports The Hill. He is offering a sticker that says "Wegners: Let Them Eat Crudité" to any donor, large or small, while ridiculing the video and Oz through several tweets.
Oz told Newsmax that he is challenging Fetterman to say what he has done to "make life better for the people of Pennsylvania" and said that voters in November will ask themselves if they are happy with the direction of the country.
"I think for most people, the answer is no, which is why I'm the choice," Oz said.
Meanwhile, he blamed his mistake on the name of Wegmans, a large grocery store chain in the state, on fatigue, leading him to call it "Wegners."'
"When you are campaigning 18 hours a day, I've gotten my kids' names wrong as well," said Oz. "I don't think that's a measure of someone's ability to lead the commonwealth."
Meanwhile, Oz also on Wednesday discussed his campaign's endorsement from the state's law enforcement community, who said during conference in Erie that they feel "dismissed and disrespected" by Fetterman.
"It's just another example of how people who know John Fetterman realized he's not actually doing the job of lieutenant governor," said Oz.
Further, Fetterman has not responded to his requests for debates, Oz commented.
"He's running a campaign hiding in his basement, with a ton of money pouring in for ads from generally the coast, California, New York," said Oz.
He further contended that Fetterman is "not just an average Democrat," he's a "far-left radical member of the party" who overstates his common man persona.
"My father was an immigrant who grew up [in a house with a] dirt floor, came to this country and we lived the American dream, knowing if he worked hard and respected this country, we would thrive," said Oz. "My opponent grew up, in his words, in a privileged environment.
"His parents have been paying for him his entire life, including his house, and for that reason, his first response to problems is not the work hard and give people autonomy and individualism."
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Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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