He’s going to “f**king lose” unless something drastically changes, Trump has complained about his pick, two sources who have discussed November’s midterm elections with Trump told the publication.
Oz, a heart surgeon, is stumbling in the polls, and Trump has asked his confidants how someone once so popular on TV can’t keep his numbers up, according to Rolling Stone. Trump, like Oz, had zero experience in politics before he was elected president but was well-known as a successful businessman and then for hosting the long-running “Apprentice” reality TV shows.
Trump has even privately asked advisers if it was a mistake for him to endorse Oz, Rolling Stone reported.
Yet Trump is staying the course. He announced Friday that he will travel to Pennsylvania for a Sept. 3 rally in support of Oz, highly controversial GOP Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano and the “entire Pennsylvania Trump ticket.”
In the latest of Oz’s widely mocked blunders, he moaned in a video, originally made in April, about the high cost of “crudité” in a city that prefers Philly cheesesteaks. He also referred to the well-known Pennsylvania grocery store Redner’s, where he was shopping for raw vegetables, as “Wegner’s.”
Oz’s Democratic rival, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, quickly trolled Oz that Pennsylvania voters know “crudité” as something far less highbrow: a veggie platter.
In PA we call this a... veggie tray https://t.co/nDp0Uw27zd
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) August 15, 2022
Oz was also mocked last month for posing as a man of the people at a cheesesteak restaurant with Philly’s iconic sandwich. Fetterman bashed him for that stunt and got some trolling help from a local cheesesteak company, which Philly seemed to love.
Ah yes, the trip to Pats + Geno's -- a rite of passage for every tourist. https://t.co/3v3iCe1y1k
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) July 15, 2022
Fetterman was sidelined from the campaign for three months as he recovered from a stoke in May, just before the primary. But he has played a savvy internet game, reaching fellow Pennsylvanians and attacking Oz as a know-nothing carpetbagger from New Jersey, where the TV personality has lived, and where he voted as recently as 2020.
Fetterman has recruited high-profile New Jerseyites, notably musician-actorSteven Van Zandt and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi of the realty TV franchise “Jersey Shore,” in stealth political ads.They have pleaded with “Mehmet” to come home (Polizzi) and to get back to where he belongs (Van Zandt): New Jersey.
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) July 27, 2022
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) July 14, 2022
Other Trump Senate race endorsements — investment banker J.D. Vance in Ohio and former football star Herschel Walker in Georgia — are also trailing their Democratic opponents: Rep. Tim Ryan in Ohio and incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock in Georgia.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) warned Thursday that, in light of flagging poll numbers, Republicans might not take the Senate as forecast in earlier predictions, referring to GOP candidates as lacking “quality.”
“I think there’s probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate,” McConnell told reporters, according to NBC News. “Senate races are just different — they’re statewide. Candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome.”
McConnell didn’t single out any candidate as lacking quality. But his dig reflected frustrations in the GOP about controversial Republican Senate candidates with little or no political experience — most notably Oz, Vance and Walker.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.