Trump Endorses TV Doc, Calls GOP Candidate for Governor a “Coward”

Mehmet Oz, the former host of "The Dr. Oz Show," kisses his new star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame during a ceremony on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

By Brett Pransky

April 19, 2022

In the most recent episode of Pennsylvania Republican infighting, Donald Trump has decided to make yet another cameo. After falsely claiming fraud after the 2020 election, and having those claims proven wrong in multiple courts, the former president still cannot let it go.

Trump’s latest moves began last week, when he endorsed TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz in the state’s heavily contested GOP Senate primary. The move has caused an uproar among base voters and fringe media entities on the right, with hard-line populists seeing Oz as soft on a number of issues they care about. Even Fox News host Laura Ingraham called the endorsement “a mistake.”

A few days later, Trump intervened once again, this time to rain on the GOP gubernatorial campaign of former Eastern District of Pennsylvania U.S. attorney William McSwain. In a recent statement, Trump claimed that McSwain failed to act on the unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in the 2020 Pennsylvania election, and that this inaction made McSwain a “coward.”

The GOP primary races for both Senator and Governor contain several candidates who have, to varying degrees, signed on to Trump’s illegitimate claims of voter fraud, making it more likely than ever that the winner in each race will be someone who vocally supports disproven claims of election fraud.

If this trend continues, it is quite likely that the GOP general election candidates for both Senate and Governor will test the appetite of Pennsylvania voters for future wild conspiracy theories. 

They will also test the Democrats’ ability to raise the very real policy concerns of Pennsylvania voters above the level of a reality TV sideshow.

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