As the U.S. Senate contemplates if it will vote to pass “The Respect for Marriage Act,” a spokesperson for Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz said that the celebrity surgeon supports same-sex marriage.
The proposed legislation, which was passed by the U.S. House, would codify same-sex marriage and interracial marriage at the federal level.
The Supreme Court legalized both in 2005 and 1967 respectively, but Democrats introduced the bill after Justice Clarence Thomas suggested when Roe v. Wade was overturned last month that rulings on same-sex marriage, contraception, and LGBTQ rights could be reconsidered.
“Dr. Mehmet Oz believes that same-sex couples should have the same freedom to get married as straight couples,” Oz campaign spokesperson Brittany Yanick said on July 26, responding to a question about his opinion about the bill.
On July 19, “The Respect for Marriage Act,” passed the House 267-157, including support from 47 Republicans.
If every Senate Democrat votes for the measure, it will need backing from 10 Republican senators to pass.
Oz has not offered an opinion on same-sex marriage during his campaign. He has said he does not support transgender women playing women’s sports.
Social Media Battles
Oz and Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman are vying to replace retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.
Fetterman, who continues to recover from a stroke he suffered just before the Democratic primary in May, has peppered social media with barbs about Oz. Most of the posts claim that the celebrity surgeon is a carpetbagger from New Jersey.
The social media battle continued on Tuesday with a Twitter battle. It was sparked by a July 24 tweet from Fetterman about gas prices.
Filled up the ram… Over $100 🤯
Dr. Oz won’t stand up to the special interests + corporate executives who are raising prices on us, but I will pic.twitter.com/xmamUQDRo8
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) July 24, 2022
Oz responded with a tweet that read, “Curious as to why you have to fill up your tank so often when you’re not out on the campaign trail meeting with Pennsylvanians.”
On July 26, Fetterman tweeted, “Dude, you’re literally from Jersey. I bet you don’t even know how to pump your own gas.”
Self-service gasoline is not permitted in New Jersey, and this puzzles some out-of-staters who are not accustomed to attendants pumping their fuel.
Oz grew up in Delaware and lived in New Jersey for several decades. He earned a medical degree and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania at the same time.
He bought a home in the state this year and also owns properties in Florida, Turkey, and New Jersey, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“Pennsylvanians that I speak to are quite clear that they care much more about what I stand for than where I’m from,” Oz recently told reporters.
Oz toured a homeless shelter in Washington, Pa. on July 26 and was accompanied by a Pittsburgh Action News 4, which asked him if Fetterman’s charge that Oz lives in New Jersey and is currently staying at a Huntingdon Valley, Pa. home owned by his in-laws so he can run for the Senate seat.
“Just to answer the question, my father, who’s an immigrant and lived the American dream, which is why I love this country so much, joined the faculty at Jefferson Medical School, which is in Philadelphia. We grew up just south of Philadelphia,” Oz said. “I went to medical school at Penn in Philadelphia, went to business school at Wharton in Philadelphia. I married my wife in the house we live in right now in Montgomery County, outside of Philadelphia.”
Oz and his family relocated to New Jersey for the filming of his talk show but returned to Pennsylvania a few years ago, he added.
“I have voted several times in Pennsylvania,” Oz said. “I’m a resident of Pennsylvania.”
We are having great food and even better conversations today at the Manna Church of God in Christ BBQ in Philly. Now more than ever, our nation’s leaders need to refocus on the policies and people who make our communities stronger. pic.twitter.com/iXcbQ8SAjw
— Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz) July 24, 2022
‘Snooki’ Trolls Oz
Last week, Fetterman’s campaign commissioned MTV’s “Jersey Shore” star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi to troll Oz about his New Jersey ties.
Fetterman’s campaign reportedly bought the widely-shared clip from Cameo, which is a personalized celebrity video site.
“I heard that you moved from New Jersey to Pennsylvania to look for a new job. And personally, I don’t know why anyone would want to leave Jersey,” Polizzi said in the video that was shared on Fetterman’s Twitter page. “I know you’re away from home and you’re in a new place. Don’t worry because you will be back home in Jersey soon. This is only temporary.”
Fetterman’s campaign gas also hired a plane to carry a banner over the New Jersey Shore with a message that read “Hey Dr. Oz, Welcome Home To NJ!”
Fetterman has also encouraged his supporters to help Oz get inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame and has taken to Twitter to mock Oz’s photo at Philadelphia cheesesteak locales that are considered tourist havens.
Oz’s campaign has responded. Last week, it unveiled a daily “John Fetterman Basement Tracker” to monitor how long the candidate “has hid in his basement.”
Oz tweeted a photo of a milk carton with “MISSING” above Fetterman’s face on July 16. Earlier this month, he also released a video that showed him jogging while welcoming Fetterman back to the campaign trail.
“You may have heard that John Fetterman is back on the campaign trail. As a surgeon who’s performed thousands of these operations, I know how scary this can be for a patient,” Oz says in his video. “I’ve been praying for him. I’m glad he’s OK.”
Oz begins to jog and adds that Fetterman “can’t keep hiding from voters forever. I mean, Joe Biden hid in his basement. How did that work out for us?”
Oz continues by chastising Fetterman’s “radical agenda” and his beliefs about drilling, fracking, and pipelines along with prison reform views.
“I’m glad Fetterman’s healthy so we can worry less about his heart and his hoodie and more about the crazy leftist ideas in his head,” Oz says before jogging away from the camera.
Fetterman has recuperated at home in the Pittsburgh area since he was released from Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital on May 22. Last week, he made a surprise appearance to visit campaign volunteers.
He has said he will attend some upcoming fundraisers and recently told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that “I might miss a word every now and then in a conversation, or I might slur two words. Even then, I think that’s infrequent. So I feel like we are ready to run, and that’s the only issue I have. That’s the absolute truth, 100 percent.”
Fetterman decisively won the Democratic primary while Oz endured a recount after a slim number of votes separated him from David McCormick in the Republican primary. After the recount, Oz prevailed by less than 1,000 votes.
Fetterman has led Oz in multiple polls and also has a significant edge in fundraising. The Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball call the race a toss-up while Inside Elections rates it as “Tilt Republican.”