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Trump's super fans can't stomach Dr. Oz: 'I just want somebody from Pennsylvania'

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Dr Oz and Donald Trump on stage
Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz joins former President Donald Trump onstage during a rally in support of his campaign at the Westmoreland County Fairgrounds on May 6, 2022 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images
  • The MAGA faithful are far from sold on Dr. Mehmet Oz as Trump's Pennsylvania Senate pick.

  • Trump rally attendees booed Oz and told Insider they won't back him in the May 17 GOP primary.

  • The few who said they're willing to consider Oz struggled to justify his candidacy.

GREENSBURG, Pa. — Blaring music was Dr. Mehmet Oz's best friend on Friday night.

Cranked up well beyond the rock opera baseline at most Trump rallies, Robert Palmer's "Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor Doctor)" drowned out the boos and muted applause from a crowd of drenched, mud-soaked, ride-or-die Trump supporters in Western Pennsylvania.

The MAGA faithful were willing to bear the elements as rain poured down on the mucky fairgrounds, but many made it clear that they were exclusively there for former President Donald Trump — not his pick for Pennsylvania's upcoming GOP Senate primary on May 17.

Oz's own video montage received boos from the crowd each time it played during the buildup to the rally, a foreboding sign for the intended man of the evening.

'He'll get the stay-at-home moms'

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally for Ohio Senate candidate JD Vance and Pennsylvania Senate candidate Mehmet Oz in Greensburg, Pa., Friday, May 6, 2022.
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally for Pennsylvania Senate candidate Mehmet Oz in Greensburg, Pa., Friday, May 6, 2022.AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

"I just want somebody from Pennsylvania, someone who actually grew up here," Lynn Johnson, a 55-year-old restaurant server from Ligonier, Pennsylvania, told Insider.

Johnson harped on the fact that Oz used his in-laws' Keystone State address to register to vote in Pennsylvania last year, despite living in New Jersey up to that point. The Philadelphia Inquirer first reported on Oz's residency, and he will not legally have to live in Pennsylvania unless he's elected in November.

"And Oprah," Johnson mentioned as another red flag. "He was with Oprah."

Oz's decision to run for office for the first time came late in the process. Trump's initial endorsement, Sean Parnell, dropped out of the race amid domestic violence allegations from his estranged wife — which he denied — before a judge granted her sole custody of their children in November 2021.

Some rally attendees had a hard time squaring the Oz endorsement with his past pro-choice comments on abortion, a key GOP topic that otherwise played a minimal role at the event, despite the recently leaked Supreme Court majority opinion overturning Roe v. Wade.

"Ten years ago he says this, now he's sayin' this — and I don't even know if he's from Pennsylvania," Michelle Sinsabaugh, a 62-year-old bus driver from nearby Mont Pleasant, told Insider right after boos rang out in response to the jumbo-tron video.

When asked who she likes in the Republican primary instead of Oz, Sinsabaugh took half a beat and rolled her eyes.

"None of 'em," she said with a guffaw.

A common reaction to Trump's endorsement of Oz was that of confusion, with rally goers telling Insider that the pick simply didn't make sense to them.

"I was not expecting as much applause as he got," Tom McCandless, who came to the rally from Philadelphia, told Insider.

Dr Oz in a crowd
Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz listens as former President Donald Trump speaks on behalf of his campaign at the Westmoreland County Fairgrounds on May 6, 2022 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

While McCandless said he remains undecided, he attempted to decipher Trump's strategic motivations for making the endorsement.

"Because he's been on TV so much ... he'll get the stay-at-home moms," McCandless said of Oz before trying to get inside Trump's head.

"He's not a stupid guy, he's doing what he has to do to get the votes and get the folks in to actually make the change," the Philadelphia voter added. "But, I believe [Oz] almost wholeheartedly has adopted the MAGA mindset. Almost there."

Chance Burchicka, a 25-year-old graduate student in psychology, told Insider that Trump's endorsement has begun to sway him.

"I feel like he took a lot of the criticism head-on, and I respect that," Burchicka said of Oz, adding that the candidate's speech impressed him. "I was really between Oz and [David] McCormick, but the Trump endorsement has shifted me a bit."

Standing next to Burchicka in the pouring rain was Louis Riffle, a fellow 25-year-old who hails from Brownsville, Pennsylvania, but found work in the fracking industry down in Texas.

Riffle said he was just excited to see Trump at the rally, and would be open to voting for Oz now that he got the coveted endorsement. But when asked what he liked about Oz, Riffle came up blank.

"Just the fact that," Riffle said before trailing off, "actually, I don't really know."

Read the original article on Business Insider

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