Businessman David McCormick ran through issue by issue the differences between him and celebrity surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz during an interview on Breitbart News Saturday ahead of the pair facing off in Monday’s U.S. Senate primary debate in Pennsylvania.
McCormick, the frontrunner in the primary, observed that Oz has been “part of the Hollywood machine for decades” and charged that Oz’s track record on nearly every political issue is evidence the famous doctor is in fact a liberal.
McCormick told Breitbart News Saturday host Matthew Boyle he plans to paint a contrast between his “America First” positions and the positions of Oz in their upcoming debate.
“My track record is someone who grew up in Pennsylvania on the family farm, working on the family farm, and then went away to serve in our military, and then came back and was a job creator,” McCormick said. “And I’m going to try to make a contrast with the other candidates, but particularly Mehmet, who really is a Hollywood liberal and someone whose positions are changing.”
McCormick added of Oz, “He’s reading a new script now, but this is a guy who has been part of the Hollywood machine for decades and has a long track record of positions on his shows and in his articles that are completely in conflict with what conservatives and Republicans of Pennsylvania think.”
McCormick was straightforward when asked where he stands on abortion: “I am pro-life. I believe life begins at conception.” McCormick’s remark stands in stark contrast with Oz’s response when Oz was asked about that same topic in a Fox News interview in December 2021.
Oz was asked during the interview when he believes a baby’s life begins and also where he thinks lawmakers should “draw the line” on when abortion should be legal. Oz was unable to provide a definitive time frame for either question, only stating that life begins “when you’re in the mother’s womb.”
Fox News host Will Cain grills U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Oz (R-PA) on what his political beliefs are on key conservative issues. pic.twitter.com/g8FU1NtGQC
— Jason Rantz on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) December 16, 2021
Instances from 2008 and 2019 further illustrate Oz’s view that women should have access to abortion. In a 2008 interview, Oz admitted he was “not socially conservative” and that he did not believe in “creating obstacles” for women to be able to abort their babies. In 2019, he said on the Breakfast Club that, on a “personal level,” he would not support his family members having abortions but that he would not “want to interfere with everyone else’s stuff.”
McCormick, a Pennsylvania native and West Point graduate, said, “For me, I am strongly supportive of the Second Amendment and would resist and fight any policies or decisions that chipped away at it even in small ways because it creates a slippery slope.”
McCormick noted his background, growing up hunting on his family’s farm and serving in the military, lent credibility to his view on guns. “I’ve lived with guns all my life. I know how important they are to the culture of Pennsylvania,” McCormick said.
Oz, as host of his eponymous television show, promoted guests who presented an idealistic vision of “red flag” laws in 2019. Oz has for years coauthored a column called “Dr. Oz The Good Life” with Dr. Michael Roizen, and in those writings, the pair have advocated for federal gun restrictions, warned against states with “lenient gun regulations,” and urged that Americans have “less access to guns (that aren’t designed for hunting).”
Oz in 2017: “almost every gun owner in the U.S. supports tighter gun laws… One regulation that … shouldn’t bother anyone, is to institute waiting periods in every state”
— Matt Wolking (@MattWolking) March 18, 2022
Oz has sought to distance himself from the columns because of some of the Democrat viewpoints they promoted, saying his coauthor was the one who wrote them. Oz has however repeatedly touted the columns as his own over the past decade.
McCormick noted Oz’s financial disclosures reveal he has been getting paid for the column up until the Senate race and that Oz testified before Congress in 2014 that they were his.
Fracking is “the single-most important economic issue for Pennsylvania,” McCormick said, adding his state is one of the largest natural gas producers in the country.
“We need a complete focus on energy dominance, which we were on a path to having under President Trump,” McCormick said. “We had energy independence, but we can be energy dominant, and it’s fabulous for the economy of Pennsylvania, it’s absolutely necessary for our national security, it’s a huge source of national strategic power, and we can do it in a way that’s clean and will really be the cleanest natural gas in the world.”
McCormick pointed again to Oz’s columns that, in addition to advocating for more gun control, also warned about negative health effects of fracking, and, in particular, the potential hazard it could create for nearby water supplies.
“I can tell you, having gone to the sites and looking at the testing, that’s not a problem. There’s no evidence that’s a problem,” McCormick said.
McCormick added, “And so while Mehmet is now saying he’s a big proponent of fracking, he hasn’t been in the past, and I think that would be very dangerous for Pennsylvania given the importance of fracking to have somebody who is squishy on our energy capabilities.”
McCormick vowed to “be a strong advocate for policies that secure the border.”
The Pennsylvania Republican visited the U.S.-Mexico border in February and met with U.S. Border Patrol agents. There the Border Patrol union endorsed him in his Senate race, saying in its announcement that McCormick “embodies the kind of strength needed to uphold the rule of law.”
McCormick told Breitbart News he wants to see the southern border wall finished and terminate the Biden administration’s catch and release practice. Catch and release is a policy reinstated under Biden that incentivizes migrants to take the treacherous journey up to the U.S. border, where they can illegally enter the U.S., claim they are seeking asylum, and then be permitted to live quasi-illegally in the United States while they await immigration court hearings, which are estimated to be backlogged by 58 months, or about five years.
Oz has a recent and rocky history with illegal migration. He advocated in 2018 and 2019 for DACA recipients, who are living in the U.S. illegally but shielded from deportation. Prior to that, in 2017, Oz had a stake in a family company that received a massive $95 million fine for hiring illegal migrant workers.
“Once again, this is a guy who had a set of positions when he was on his Hollywood show and surrounding himself with his Hollywood colleagues from Oprah to Michelle Obama, and now that he’s running for a Republican primary in Pennsylvania … he’s reading from a new script, and that’s my main critique is that it’s all phony.”
McCormick acknowledged China as a powerful adversary, saying, “We need a national strategy that reduces our dependence on China. We can’t have our semiconductor, our pharmaceutical industry dependent on China. … We’ve got to bring those home, key strategic industries.”
He noted the communist country must also be held accountable for its initial management of coronavirus, which spread worldwide after first surfacing in China, and that it must be held accountable for the growing number of fentanyl-related deaths occurring in the United States as China is a primary source of illegal fentanyl.
In terms of trade, McCormick said he would advocate for fair trade terms and work to make certain that no company or investor is “investing in China in a way that’s going to aid the modernization of the Chinese military or aid the horrible human rights abuses against the Uyghurs.”
McCormick is a former hedge fund CEO who has been endorsed by Trump trade ambassador Robert Lighthizer.
While Oz has used McCormick’s Wall Street background to tie him to China in campaign attacks, McCormick said of his experience, “I’ve done business around the world, and I’ve done business in 20 countries. We’ve done a small amount of business in China, and just like President Trump, that experience is going to give me a leg up in terms of knowing what we’re dealing with and going head to head with the Chinese.”
Oz’s financial disclosures show he raked in between $1 million and $5 million on various made-in-China sleep products through a partnership with a Utah-based company. Oz has also come under fire for a partnership with Usana Health Sciences, a company that profits enormously from its business in China.
McCormick charged that Oz’s “huge economic ties” to China demonstrate that “once again, he’s very conflicted on these issues.”
McCormick’s interview with Breitbart News Saturday occurred the day before Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, a day designated to honor the Armenian people who endured mass execution at the hands of the Ottoman Turks during World War I.
McCormick said, “I absolutely concur that we should recognize the Armenian genocide, the 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1923 that were killed.”
In recognition of Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, we honor the 1.5 million Armenians murdered in one of history’s worst atrocities. PA’s Armenian American community is an inspiration & living memorial to the strength, resilience & determination of generations who came before.
— Dave McCormick (@DaveMcCormickPA) April 24, 2022
The atrocities once committed against the Armenians have become widely recognized by many, including by the U.S. and 29 other countries, as “genocide.” Turkey however aggressively rejects that characterization and instead dismisses the killings as normal tragedies of war and not crimes that were premeditated and systematic.
Oz has dual citizenship in the U.S. and Turkey and while he has said he would renounce his Turkish citizenship if elected to the Senate, he has now come under scrutiny for aligning with his country’s position on the Armenian genocide.
An Oz spokesperson said in a recent NBC News report when asked about the matter that “Dr. Mehmet Oz opposes genocide and the murder of innocent people in all forms.” The spokesperson however would not refer to what happened to the Armenians in World War I as “genocide.”
“I think that’s indicative of a broader thing,” McCormick said, citing his own background of serving in the U.S. military in the 82nd Airborne Division in Iraq during the Gulf War. Oz also has a military background, having served in the Turkish military as a medical aide.
McCormick said Oz “was wearing a Turkish uniform and serving in the Turkish military … is a dual Turkish citizen, has deep business ties as we see on his financial disclosure, has deep connections to the senior-most people in Turkey, and the reason that’s such a problem is Turkey is an adversary. … Our interests with Turkey diverge pretty dramatically in many ways. Turkey is pro-Iran, it’s pro-Syria, it’s anti-Israel. And the reason I call this out is, you know, Mehmet Oz couldn’t get a security clearance today, and it’s very hard for him to be an effective U.S. senator with those sorts of conflicts.”