Republicans Seem Thrilled That a Quack TV Doctor Wants to Join Them in the Senate

When Dr. Mehmet Oz announced his candidacy on Tuesday for Senate in Pennsylvania, he pledged to be a “conservative who will put America first” and who will “tell it like it is.”

It’s no surprise, then, to hear that former President Trump seems to like the TV doctor with a history of pushing bogus health health remedies.

In Oz, Trump sees a figure similar to himself. A source close to the former reality television host recently told Politico that he likes how Oz is “in the mainstream of America and that he had a ton of face time with voters … through their television.”

A handful of Republicans in Congress have responded amicably toward his campaign as well.

“It’s a good sign for the Republican Party that somebody of his standing and stature would want to run under the Republican banner,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Politico. “He’s got an incredible background and personal story. It’s good news for the Republican Party, and I think he’d be very competitive.”

“Who doesn’t love a guy that’s got 100 percent name ID and a whole bunch of money?” added Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.),

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) called Oz “obviously intelligent” and someone who “seems to have a clean grasp of the issues.”

But the celebrity doctor’s solid name recognition is partly due to him flirting with pseudoscience and hawking unproven cures for ailments, often using hyperbolic language while doing so — another similarity to Trump. This landed him in water when he testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance back in 2014, with a Democratic senator telling him bluntly that “the scientific community is almost monolithic against you.”

More recently, Oz promoted hydroxychloroquine on Fox News in March of last year. The next month, he downplayed the risks of Covid, telling Sean Hannity that opening schools might help the nation “get our mojo back” despite the additional deaths that would result.

Still, Oz seems to be hanging his hat on his medical credentials to propel himself into office. And if Republicans end up coalescing around a familiar face with a big wallet but a checkered past, well, we’ve been down that road before.

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