Dr. Mehmet Oz’s Senate campaign fired back at Democratic nominee John Fetterman for criticizing his “crudité” gaffe.
Fetterman has been criticizing Oz in recent days after he resurfaced a social media video of the Republican candidate complaining about inflation at a grocery store. The video, in which Oz appears to confuse the name of a popular Pennsylvania grocery store chain, has led to social media users mocking Oz as out-of-touch. But on Monday, the Oz campaign fired back fiercely at Fetterman, including a reference to the stroke he suffered in May that has kept him mostly off the campaign trail.
“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,” Oz campaign Senior Communications Adviser Rachel Tripp told Business Insider Tuesday.
Dr. Oz originally posted the video to his official TikTok account in April. In the video, Oz is grocery shopping at Redner’s, a popular grocery store chain in southeastern Pennsylvania, making note of the high costs of vegetables in the produce section. “Thought I’d do some grocery shopping. I’m at Wegners, and my wife wants some vegetables for a crudité,” Oz says, apparently confusing Redner’s with Wegman’s, another grocery store chain with locations throughout the mid-Atlantic, including Pennsylvania.
Fetterman tweeted the video last week, mocking Oz for using the French word “crudité” instead of the more colloquial term “veggie tray.” Oz defended his word choice in an interview with Fox Business Tuesday. “Whether I pick words that are not conventional ones are irrelevant to the bigger challenges that we’re facing in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” Oz said.
For his part, Fetterman actually lost over 140 pounds, going from weighing 418 pounds to just over 270, between 2017 and 2018, by altering his dietary habits and walking several miles a day, TribLive.com reported.
The Pennsylvania Senate campaign has devolved into a meme war, with the two candidates firing volleys at each other on Twitter and over the airwaves in TV advertisements, as The Daily Wire’s Ben Zeisloft reported earlier this month.
Fetterman has done much of his campaigning over social media and TV, focusing on the fact that until recently, Oz’s primary residence was his home in New Jersey. Fetterman made his first public appearance since suffering a stroke at a rally in Erie on August 12; he gave an 11-minute speech, in which he repeatedly stopped abruptly before continuing. Fetterman gave another speech at a rally in Pittsburgh Tuesday; the speech reportedly lasted for less than five minutes, and Fetterman again struggled through his remarks.
Oz has also taken to social media and the airwaves to criticize Fetterman over reports that he received a five-figure allowance from his parents until he was in his 40s; Oz has also repeatedly and vigorously criticized Fetterman’s absence from the public eye, including his refusal to agree to televised debates against him. Meanwhile, Oz has been very active on the campaign trail, attending multiple campaign events a day all across Pennsylvania.
According to the most recent polling, Oz trails, but is within striking distance of Fetterman. A poll of more than 1,000 likely general election voters, conducted by The Trafalgar Group, found that Fetterman leads Oz by less than five points, 48.4% to 43.5%