Oprah backs Fetterman over Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania Senate race: NPR


Oprah Winfrey speaks during Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus Tour at Chase Center on February 22, 2020 in San Francisco, California.

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Oprah Winfrey speaks during Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus Tour at Chase Center on February 22, 2020 in San Francisco, California.

Steve Jennings/Getty Images

Oprah Winfrey has announced that she will support Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman over her Republican opponent Mehmet Oz, a celebrity doctor who rose to prominence on her show in the early 2000s.

Democratic candidate Fetterman has been hoping to win Winfrey’s endorsement for months, given her status and influence among women and black people. The hotly contested Senate race in Pennsylvania is a key part of the high-stakes 2022 midterm elections, with Democrats and Republicans holding an equal number of U.S. Senate seats.

“[At the beginning of the midterm campaigns,] I said it was up to the citizens of Pennsylvania, but I’ll tell you all of this – if I lived in Pennsylvania, I would have already voted for John Fetterman, for many reasons,” Winfrey said during a virtual event Thursday.

Winfrey introduced the Oz as a regular guest on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” for over five seasons in the early 2000s. His company, Harpo Productions, later helped him launch his own show “The Dr. Oz Show” in 2009 .

“Oprah knows Dr. Oz very well and decided to support us ‘for many reasons,'” Fetterman said. wrote on Twitter on Friday. “November’s best surprise.”


Talk show host Oprah Winfrey is seen with interior designer Nate Berkus, left, Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Phil McGraw, right, during ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ live from Radio City Music Hall in New York in 2010.

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Talk show host Oprah Winfrey is seen with interior designer Nate Berkus, left, Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Phil McGraw, right, during ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ live from Radio City Music Hall in New York in 2010.

Evan Agostini/AP

Fetterman campaign spokesman Joe Calvello called Oprah’s endorsement of Fetterman a “devastating rebuke from Dr. Oz.”

“One by one, the people who know Oz best have spoken out against him and made it clear that he should not serve in the United States Senate,” he wrote in a press release.

Winfrey, a high-profile star power liberal, campaigns for Barack Obama in 2007 before the Democratic primaries, voiced support for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and actively supported President Joe Biden in 2020.

winfrey too visited Georgia in 2018 to campaign for Democrat Stacey Abrams in her previous bid for Governor of Georgia, and shows her support for Abrams again in her revenge with incumbent Republican Brian Kemp.

These candidates relied on Winfrey’s general appeal. Former President Donald Trump even told CNN talk show host Larry King in 1999 that Winfrey would be his first choice for running mate.

“I love Oprah. Oprah would always be my first choice,” Trump said. “If she did, she’d be fantastic. She’s popular. She’s brilliant. She’s a wonderful woman.”

At Thursday’s event, Winfrey also voiced her support for other Democratic candidates in the major Senate and Governor races during the virtual event, including Cheri Beasley of North Carolina, Val Demings of Florida, Mandela Barnes from Wisconsin, Catherine Cortez Masto from Nevada, Beto O’Rourke from Texas and Raphael Warnock and Stacey Abrams from Georgia.

“There are clear choices there,” Winfrey said. “So use your discernment and choose wisely for our country’s democracy.”

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