Earlier this week, Democratic Pennsylvania Senate nominee John Fetterman trolled Oz over a resurfaced video from April in which the celebrity doctor strolled through a grocery store’s vegetable aisle and fretted over the costs of building a “crudité”—without the tequila, mind you. Oz also claimed he was shopping at “Wegners,” seemingly mashing up the names of two local supermarkets—Wegmans and Redner’s.
“In PA we call this a ... veggie tray,” Fetterman joked in one tweet. The Pennsylvania lieutenant governor, who has repeatedly mocked Oz as a carpetbagger and out-of-touch elite, also took aim at the former TV star for flubbing the grocery chain’s name.
With Fetterman’s campaign boasting about raising more than a half-million dollars after Oz’s video went viral, the struggling Republican candidate ran to Newsmax on Wednesday morning in hopes of turning the tide.
Unfortunately for the doctor, he found himself on the end of a fairly tough grilling by anchor Shaun Kraisman.
“Let’s talk crudité, if we can,” the Newsmax host said, perhaps ominously. “As you know, this video went viral. You were at Wegmans going through the veggie aisle, essentially hitting on inflation and how things cost more; putting together a plate of crudité would cost you more than 20 bucks. You said that you were at Wegners—this is a very popular local grocery in this region called Wegmans.”
Kraisman asked a question “Your response to this?” before continuing to pile on: “And not only the video that is making its rounds, Fetterman is campaigning off of it. He has raised quite a bit of money off of that video. But it does get to the factor: Is Dr. Oz relatable to the everyday, hardworking American there in Pennsylvania?”
After first bragging about how he’s “saved lives” and “invented devices” as a surgeon and pitchman, Oz insisted his use of the French term for a spread of raw veggies and dip was done for comedic effect.
“You know what I joke about? A crudité, which is a way of speaking about how ridiculous it is that you can’t even put vegetables on a plate in the middle of a campaign,” Oz said with a straight face.
The TV doctor then pivoted to full campaign pitch mode, delivering a number of blanket talking points about how he’s “the person who put us on the right track and addressed many of the challenges” in Pennsylvania.
Undeterred, however, Kraisman circled back to his original questions about the crudité clip.
“I don’t mean to fixate on it, but just for those watching in Pennsylvania, you know how particular many people are about their groceries, what happened with Wegmans and Wegners?” the Newsmax wondered. “Can you explain that to them?”
Oz claimed the flub resulted from being “exhausted” from “campaigning 18 hours a day,” even going so far as to say he’s “gotten my kids’ names wrong as well.” The doctor claimed those mistakes shouldn’t be “a measure of someone’s ability to lead the commonwealth”—in the process appearing to confuse the roles of senator and governor.
The fallout over the crudité ad isn’t the only headache for Oz’s campaign, which is currently down double-digits in recent polling. The Daily Beast reported on Tuesday that while Oz recently claimed on a campaign stop that he only “legitimately” owns two houses, the multimillionaire actually owns at least ten properties—leaving him open to further criticism over his exorbitant wealth and tenuous ties to the state.