“The Great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has a tremendous opportunity to Save America by electing the brilliant and well-known Dr. Mehmet Oz for the United States Senate,” the endorsement read. “I have known Dr. Oz for many years, as have many others, even if only through his very successful television show. He has lived with us through the screen and has always been popular, respected and smart.”
Trump went on to say that he believes Oz will “be the one most able to win the General Election” and would perform well in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Trump touted Oz’s education and his medical career in the endorsement. He also said of Oz, “He even said that I was in extraordinary health, which made me like him even more (although he also said I should lose a couple of pounds!).”
“Women in particular, are drawn to Dr. Oz for his advice and counsel,” said the former President on Saturday. “I have seen this many times over the years. They know him, believe in him, and trust him.”
Despite the longstanding relationship between Oz and the Trumps, there were signs that McCormick had an advantage to get the endorsement. His wife, Dina Powell McCormick, was a top national security aid for Trump in the White House. And a number of trusted Trump aides — including Hope Hicks and Stephen Miller — had signed on to help McCormick’s campaign.
“The Republican Senate primary in Pennsylvania was already nasty, expensive and brutal,” said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesperson Patrick Burgwinkle. “Now Trump’s endorsement will only intensify this intra-party fight, just like it has in GOP Senate primaries across the country — leaving their ultimate nominee badly damaged and out of step with the voters who will decide the general election.”
CNN’s Alex Rogers contributed to this report.