Former President Donald Trump’s endorsement has been — at least thus far in primary season — a lock for a win. That calculus changed somewhat on Tuesday.
Not only did Trump-endorsed North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn lose his primary battle after a series of scandals, Pennsylvania Senate candidate and celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz remains locked in a tight race with former hedge fund CEO Dave McCormick.
According to NBC News, with 98 percent of the expected vote counted, Dr. Oz sits at 31.2 percent of the vote with McCormick at 31.1 percent of the vote. Pennsylvania’s Election Code triggers a recount if a result is within 0.5 percent.
One of the reasons why Dr. Oz didn’t get the kind of “Trump bump” that might have normally been expected was the suspicion he wasn’t fully conservative.
Indeed, his past opinions on crucial social and policy matters have handicapped his campaign — including a 2010 show in which he promoted transgender ideology for children.
The episode was titled “Transgender Kids: Too Young to Decide?” Dr. Oz seemed to come down firmly on the side of “no,” bringing on two transgender children to prove the point.
“Josie, 8, and her mother Vanessia claimed that Josie’s life improved once the child — born male — rejected a masculine identity and embraced a feminine one,” Fox News noted.
“Isaac, 15, and his parents Arturo and Monica said they decided that the teen — born female — should take hormone blockers and undergo a double mastectomy.
At the time, LGBT group GLAAD praised Dr. Oz for the show, calling it “groundbreaking.”
“While talking with each family, Dr. Oz consulted guest expert Dr. Robert Garofalo, a pediatrician who advises hundreds of children and their families about gender transitions, allowing the audience to hear probably the healthiest medical opinion of transgender identity ever broadcast,” GLAAD noted at the time.
“After Dr. Oz presented the phrase “Gender Identity Disorder” and let it linger on the screen behind his transgender guest, Dr. Garofalo was quick to calmly emphasize that the term disorder is not broadly accepted by transgender community members and allies.
“While Dr. Garofalo acknowledged that the prescription of hormone blockers is relatively new — and therefore under-researched, he stressed that the decision should lie primarily with the children and their families rather than medical professionals.”
Now, you may not be surprised to know, Dr. Oz’s campaign is disowning the content.
“Doctor Oz is a conservative who doesn’t believe biological men should play women’s sports, and he’s running a TV ad presently to that effect,” said Brittany Yanick, a spokeswoman for the Oz campaign.
“In fact, Doctor Oz has repeatedly praised J.K. Rowling’s brave stance for stating the truth about this important issue.”
“He has treated transgender people with dignity and he’s covered the high suicide rates with transgender people, and takes it very seriously,” Yanick added.
Maybe he does, but his very un-conservative path to stardom — and his inability to properly explain it — has sabotaged his campaign from the get-go. You can bet Trump is furious Dr. Oz hasn’t been able to take advantage of his support.