Oz Hopes to Shake Off Snake Oil Salesman Label to Become a US Senator

(AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

By Brett Pransky

July 26, 2022

Dr. Mehmet Oz is facing credibility issues in his current run for US Senate in Pennsylvania. The attacks continually target the legitimacy of his recent move from New Jersey to Pennsylvania, and whether or not he really plans to represent Pennsylvanians should he win in November.

But credibility issues are nothing new for Dr. Oz.

Before Oz decided to run for office, he was best known as a TV pitch man, using his title as a means to endorse and then profit from a wide variety of drugs and supplements. He endorsed a number of products as weight loss “miracles” even though most had little to no actual science behind them.

His success at getting people to buy products of dubious origin earned him a well deserved public dragging back in 2014, courtesy of the US Senate, a body he is now trying to join.

In the subcommittee hearing, members took turns grilling “America’s Doctor” regarding various statements he made on his daily cable television program, where he often spoke about the miraculous powers of obscure products like raspberry ketone or green coffee bean extract, products that have since miraculously faded into obscurity.

Perhaps the most telling part of Oz’s testimony came when Republican Dean Heller of Nevada used several of Oz’s televised statements about the existence of “magical” and “miraculous” weight loss cures as the basis for a very simple question:

“Do you believe there’s a magic weight-loss cure out there?” asked Heller.

“If you’re selling something because it’s magical, no,” Oz said. “If you’re arguing that it’s going to be magic because if you stop eating carbohydrates you’re going to use a lot of weight, that’s a truthful statement.”

While Oz meets all the criteria necessary to run for Senate in Pennsylvania, and his residency is not in question, voters seem to be focusing a lot of attention on the difference between residency on paper and what it means to be “from here.”

The question seems to be “Is Dr. Oz a Pennsylvanian, or is his campaign just the next magic coffee bean?”


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