Donald Trump held a rally in North Carolina on Saturday night, but it wasn’t the normal theatrics and hilarity that the former president delivers that made the biggest impression. Rather, it was an endorsement that seems to have come out of nowhere, and I’ll go so far as to say it may be his worst ever (yes, worse than Morgan Ortega) — at least as a Republican politician.
Honestly, I know some people take umbrage with anyone ever questioning Trump’s decision-making, but this is truly a head-scratching moment.
Trump endorses Dr. Oz in the Pennsylvania Senate primary, despite most Trump alums gravitating toward David McCormick pic.twitter.com/cMeU5tMeZS
— Blake Hounshell (@blakehounshell) April 9, 2022
Trump on Oz Endorsement: When you’re in television for 18 years. That’s like a poll. That means people like you pic.twitter.com/Te5aCTTlQE
— Acyn (@Acyn) April 10, 2022
I’m not sure offering endorsements to people based on them being on TV for a long time is the best strategy. Whoopi Goldberg has been on TV for a long time. John Stewart was on TV for a long time. Being popular alone is not a political positive. Ideology and policy still matter. Yet, it seems like Trump just went with whoever wasn’t the “establishment” pick (but could still win the primary), without a thought for what he’s actually throwing his weight behind.
And look, this isn’t about Dr. Oz’s personality or any other shallow critique. If that was the only issue here, this endorsement wouldn’t even be worthy of a shoulder shrug. Rather, it’s Dr. Oz’s liberal history and murky positions that are the problem. For my money, his flip-flopping and incoherence regarding abortion are enough to cause major concern. I’ll let a lot of issues slide, if a politician is otherwise acceptable. That’s not one of them.
Dr. Oz also expressed support for Obamacare following Barack Obama’s win in 2008. Further, he has offered support for red flag laws, which give the government the ability to violate the Second Amendment rights of Americans just because someone filed a complaint. Heck, he’s even written in support of the idea that “systemic racism” exists in the healthcare industry.
But don’t take my word for it. Here’s John Cardillo, one of the biggest Trump supporters, on social media saying this is a bridge too far.
Trump’s endorsement of Dr. Oz is inexcusable.
He just put his political capital behind an anti-gun pro-abortion open borders Hollywood liberal.
Oz will be another Mitt Romney in the Senate.
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) April 10, 2022
That’s the thing. Why should anyone believe Dr. Oz’s sudden transformation is anything but an attempt to draft off of Trump’s popularity? Yet, Trump seems content to offer his support — without a question of the motives at play. There is plenty of reason to believe Dr. Oz will become an absolute squish the moment he enters the Senate, and that’s if he wins at all. He’s not well-positioned to win the general election in his state, unlike Herschel Walker in Georgia.
I understand the urge to just do the opposite of whatever Mitch McConnell wants, but there are at least a few times where overlap has to happen. You can’t make your endorsement mean something — if it’s just given out to whoever the other guy doesn’t like. That cheapens Trump’s entire movement, and I think he’s going to regret this decision.