Dr. Mehmet Oz won the Republican nomination in Pennsylvania’s Senate race with the support and endorsement from former President Donald Trump. However, Dr. Oz is now distancing himself from the man who helped give him his victory.
In a move that should surprise absolutely no one, the television celebrity and host has removed branding relating to Trump, whose endorsement placed him ahead of all other Republican candidates in the state.
On Tuesday, Axios reported that Trump, who was a “near-ubiquitous fixture” throughout Oz’s run in his advertising campaigns, was unceremoniously dropped.
Trump was heavily featured in Oz’s videos on conservative issues like gun rights and abortion. Each video began with the phrase, “endorsed by President Trump.” On Oz’s social media profiles, the television personality featured himself standing alongside Trump.
According to Axios, Oz’s Twitter account namedropped Trump over 70 times throughout his run, and his campaign ran Trump-centric ads on both Google and Facebook.
In a reversal of strategy, Oz completely ceased to mention Trump on May 17. It comes as no coincidence it was the day of the Republican primary. Oz’s cover photo on Twitter, which previously featured Trump alongside Oz, now instead features a “Thank you, Pennsylvania” with a photo of Oz.
Oz’s official campaign website no longer features a pop-up fundraiser featuring Trump, and Oz has also ceased to advertise Trump-related ads on Google and Facebook.
Despite the move to pull back from Trump, Oz has not completely forgotten his ties to Trump and continues to feature the former president’s endorsement as the first one on its website.
“The endorsement is the first endorsement listed on our website and we changed the banner to thank Pennsylvanians after the recount was completed,” Oz's spokesperson, Brittany Yanick told Axios.
Conservative commentator and Human Events senior editor Jack Posobiec, who has been a vocal detractor against Oz’s campaign took the opportunity to call out other conservative commentators who insisted on supporting Oz. During Oz’s run in the beginning, many Trump supporters insisted that Oz was a Trump loyalist despite all evidence showing the contrary, exposing him as a political opportunist.
“Will all the people paid off by Oz to attack us apologize? I won’t hold my breath. Enjoy your RINO,” wrote Posobiec.