Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke Friday on the “national security concerns” he had about Republican Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz.
“[Dr. Oz] engaged in the Turkish political process. That raises, in my mind, lots of judgments about his priorities,” Pompeo said in a phone call to reporters.
Oz maintains Turkish citizenship and cast a ballot in the country’s 2018 presidential election, ABC News reported. He previously said he has “never been politically involved in Turkey in any capacity.”
Pompeo, who is backing David McCormick, former U.S. undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs and CEO of Bridgewater Associates, said his reservations with Oz were “separate and apart from politics.”
“These are pathetic and xenophobic attacks on Dr. Oz by David McCormick, who should be ashamed of himself. Now that he lost President Trump’s endorsement, he’s resorted to sad and desperate attacks that are no different than the tropes used against Catholics and Jews,” Brittany Yanick, an Oz campaign spokesperson, told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement.
“Dr. Oz has already said when elected to the Senate he would renounce his citizenship. There is no security issue whatsoever, and David McCormick knows that Dr. Oz has maintained his dual citizenship to make it easier to help care for his mother who has Alzheimer’s and lives there,” she said.
Mike Pompeo, on a call with reporters organized by the McCormick campaign, cited ABC News’ reporting: “[Dr. Oz] engaged in the Turkish political process. That raises, in my mind, lots of judgments about his priorities.”
— Lucien Bruggeman (@lcbruggeman) May 6, 2022
“This is about making sure that the voters have the opportunity to know all of the things, the good characteristics and the shortcomings, of candidates who are running, and the questions in my judgment have not been answered satisfactorily,” Pompeo said.
Some conservatives have stated concerns that Oz does not truly represent the GOP’s values, claiming he has previously expressed beliefs contrary to the party’s. Before becoming a candidate, Oz had discussed red flag laws and said a fetal heart is not beating at six weeks gestation, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
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