One of the Senate races drawing national attention is between a former TV host and the current lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania.
Almost from the outset the campaigns of Ohio born, longtime New Jersey resident, Trump endorsed Republican Mehmet Oz and Pennsylvania born and raised Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman played out in social media quips and jabs.
In the latest salvo of the conflict, Oz's campaign decided to take a swipe at Fetterman's health. In May, the Democratic candidate suffered a stroke that's kept his travel limited.
Oz was recently mocked online for a video he posted in April about the price of groceries and crudité. Fetterman responded to the multimillionaire by stating in Pennsylvania crudité is called a "veggie tray."
In an interview with Insider, Oz's senior communications advisor Rachel Tripp responded:
"If John Fetterman had ever eaten a vegetable in his life, then maybe he wouldn't have had a major stroke and wouldn't be in the position of having to lie about it constantly."
Fetterman responded almost immediately on Twitter.
He tweeted a screenshot of the Insider article with the caption:
"I had a stroke."
"I survived it."
"I'm truly so grateful to still be here today."
"I know politics can be nasty, but even then, I could *never* imagine ridiculing someone for their health challenges."
\u201cI had a stroke. I survived it. I'm truly so grateful to still be here today. \n\nI know politics can be nasty, but even then, I could *never* imagine ridiculing someone for their health challenges.\u201d— John Fetterman (@John Fetterman) 1661301049
People concurred with Fetterman's view of the official statement by the Oz campaign.
Over 100 Pennsylvania doctors addressed the veggie eating jab.
\u201cThe Fetterman campaign is out with a letter signed by 100+ Pennsylvania doctors calling out Oz for his "ever eaten a vegetable in his life" comments: #PAsen\u201d— Jake Lahut (@Jake Lahut) 1661289559
\u201cA top aide for Dr. Oz mockingly linked John Fetterman\u2019s stroke to his diet, so Fetterman responded. \n\nAnd so did more than 100 practicing physicians. https://t.co/eUBdwgZBSL\u201d— The Keystone (@The Keystone) 1661376840
\u201c100+ doctors from across the Commonwealth are warning Pennsylvanians about the threat of Dr. Oz's candidacy to their patients' health\n\nRead their letter about how this fraud endangers the health of PA residents to enrich himself \ud83d\udc47\n\n#RealDoctorsAgainstOz \nhttps://t.co/lJMEXzh1nm\u201d— John Fetterman (@John Fetterman) 1661348349
Others called out the official statement as classless and cruel.
\u201cWhat kind of doctor would mock John Fetterman for having had a stroke?\n\nA carpetbagging quack like Mehmet Oz, that's who. What an utter disgrace.\u201d— BrooklynDad_Defiant!\u262e\ufe0f (@BrooklynDad_Defiant!\u262e\ufe0f) 1661290908
\u201cOz, who is supposed to be a "doctor", mocking Fetterman's recovery from stroke is all you need to know about this GOP senatorial candidate.\nhttps://t.co/nU0PMTDKag\u201d— The Lincoln Project (@The Lincoln Project) 1661284589
\u201cJust when you think Dr. Oz can\u2019t get any worse, he\u2019s mocking Fetterman for having a stroke.\u201d— Hoodlum \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8 (@Hoodlum \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8) 1661288264
\u201cThe reason John Fetterman has recovered so quickly is that he didn't have Mehmet Oz for a doctor\u201d— Palmer Report (@Palmer Report) 1661298067
\u201cMehmet Oz ran away from a group of women voters who wanted to talk to him about abortion rights. Then he had his campaign call the police on them just for simply asking a question.\n\nWhat a damn coward. Take note that John Fetterman stands up for women while Oz runs away.\u201d— Kyla in the Burgh \ud83c\udff4\u200d\u2620\ufe0f\ud83d\udd25 (@Kyla in the Burgh \ud83c\udff4\u200d\u2620\ufe0f\ud83d\udd25) 1661089676
\u201cOz attacking Fetterman for having a stroke is not only callous & low, but also highly unethical for a doctor to behave in a way that goes against the Hippocratic Oath.\u201d— \ud835\ude76\ud835\ude8e\ud835\ude96\u2122\ud83d\udc8e\ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08\ud83c\uddf2\ud83c\uddfd\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8 (@\ud835\ude76\ud835\ude8e\ud835\ude96\u2122\ud83d\udc8e\ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08\ud83c\uddf2\ud83c\uddfd\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8) 1661286832
\u201c@fred_guttenberg @DrOz @JohnFetterman Especially crazy because Oz is a cardiologist and knows that Fetterman has atrial fibrillation which puts him at a much higher risk of stroke. Eating vegetables does not cure atrial fibrillation. If you tried to build a bad candidate in a lab, you could not build one as bad as Oz\u201d— Fred Guttenberg (@Fred Guttenberg) 1661340670
\u201cit was only a matter of time until Oz mocked Fetterman for having a stroke\u2026 what an evil, evil man Oz is\u201d— LeGate\u262e\ufe0f | pillow-fight.com CMO (@LeGate\u262e\ufe0f | pillow-fight.com CMO) 1661286468
Oz won the Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary in May by just 951 votes for about 31% of Republican voters.
While former Republican President Donald Trump threw his support behind the former TV host, GOP leadership chose established Pennsylvania Republican David McCormick. They along with Kathy Barnette split the vote three ways for a very close race.
Fetterman defeated three challengers from his hospital bed—having suffered a stroke 2 days prior to the primary—taking a definitive 59% of the Democratic vote.
How the pair fare in the general election is still anyone's guess, but Fetterman is currently leading in the polls.
\u201cDr. Oz is very upset this Senate poll out of Pennsylvania keeps getting retweeted:\n\nJohn Fetterman 51%\nMehmet Oz 33%\u201d— Adam Parkhomenko (@Adam Parkhomenko) 1660702629
The November midterms are slated for Tuesday, November 8, 2022.