During the Republican primary debate for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania on Monday, candidate Carla Sands not only attacked Dr. Mehmet Oz for his lack of pro-life bona-fides but also for him allegedly putting “Turkey First.”
The moderator asked Sands, “Should there be exceptions or should abortion be banned across the board?”
“Oz says he’s pro-life, but as a matter of fact, he is not just not pro-life, he tweeted his own words that he is not pro-life, but also, he’s Turkey first,” Sands responded.
“He served in the Turkish military, not the U.S. military, and he chose to do that,” she added. “He chose to put Turkey first. And he has said that the baby’s heartbeat is not a heartbeat, it’s an electrical impulse.”
Oz, as he did throughout most of the debate, cited his endorsement from former President Trump that he is “America First,” arguing that he served in the Turkish military for only two months in order to see his parents.
“President Trump was very clear, I’m America First,” he said. “I was obliged to serve for two months in the infirmary in the Turkish military, which I did in order to visit my parents as I went through my life. I can love my mother and I can love my country as well.”
Oz ignited controversy in March when he said that he would possibly forgo security clearances as a U.S. Senator to maintain his dual citizenship with Turkey in order to care for his ailing mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease.
“I can love my country and love my mom,” he said, prompting sharp criticism from his opponent, Dave McCormick. In response to the mounting criticism, Oz said that his dual citizenship with Turkey had become a “distraction,” adding that he will be a committed U.S. citizen if sworn in.
“My dual citizenship has become a distraction in this campaign,” he said. “I maintained it to care for my ailing mother, but after several weeks of discussions with my family, I’m committing that before I am sworn in as the next U.S. senator for Pennsylvania I will only be a U.S. citizen.”
Oz called the attacks from his primary opponent, Dave McCormick, “bigoted,” likening it to when Americans rejected Jews and Catholics.
“The bigoted attacks my opponent Dave McCormick has made against me as the child of immigrants or reminiscent of slurs made in the past about Catholics and Jews,” he said. “It is a sign of McCormick’s desperate campaign that he’s resorted to this disgraceful tactic. It’s completely disqualifying behavior for anyone aiming to serve in the United States Senate.”
Basketball star Enes Kanter Freedom, who was born in Switzerland but grew up in Turkey, later dubbed Oz a “foreign agent” over his dual citizenship.
“People in Pennsylvania needs to understand that [Dr. Oz] is a Foreign Agent and he works for Dictator [Erdogan]. Ask yourself, why would a Turkish citizen, who lives in Jersey and works in New York City would want to be the Senator from Pennsylvania. Come on People!!” Enes tweeted in March.
People in Pennsylvania needs to understand that @DrOz is a Foreign Agent and he works for Dictator @RTErdogan
Ask yourself, why would a Turkish citizen, who lives in Jersey and works in New York City would want to be the Senator from Pennsylvania.
Come on People!! https://t.co/KhwL439Bc5
— Enes FREEDOM (@EnesFreedom) March 16, 2022
Despite mounting criticism from the right, former President Trump still endorsed Oz’s candidacy.
“I believe that Mehmet Oz will be the one most able to win the General Election against a Radical Left Democrat looking to do unthinkable harm to our Country. Women, in particular, are drawn to Dr. Oz for his advice and counsel,” said the former president. “I have seen this many times over the years. They know him, believe in him, and trust him.”
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