Standing in the rain at a rally in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, to bolster TV celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz, who is locked in a tight race with McCormick, the former president panned McCormick for not being “MAGA” enough.
“David is totally controlled. This is the opponent backed by Mitch McConnell, the old crow, the old broken-down crow. Mitch McConnell is the least popular politician in the country,” Trump said. “David came out very strongly against me on numerous occasions. This was before he was going to run, and then all of a sudden he said, ‘Boy, I like this guy a lot.'”
McCormick served as undersecretary of the treasury for international affairs during the Bush administration and turned down an offer from Trump to serve as the U.S. deputy secretary of defense when he was CEO of Bridgewater Associates, which has investments in China. Behind the scenes, McCormick told friends he sought Trump’s support in his bid for Senate but would draw a line at parroting Trump’s 2020 election fraud claims, the Bulwark reported.
Trimps’s attack on McCormick from the stage was savage, and came down to one thing ultimately – McCormick didn’t side with Trump’s claims about winning the election, so Trump equated him to McConnell and Cheney.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) May 7, 2022
Oz has insisted that the party “cannot move on” from the 2020 election. Trump hailed Oz as a true believer in the “Make America Great Again” movement and touted his “enormously successful” career during the rally.
“He’s on that screen. He’s in the bedrooms of all those women telling them good and bad, and they love him. He came into a place where there were a lot of women sitting there for something unrelated. They started going crazy: ‘Is that Dr. Oz?'” Trump crowed.
Earlier in the event, portions of the crowd booed when organizers praised Oz. Trump’s endorsement of the TV celebrity has been controversial in the MAGA world. Even Trump appeared to draw some boos at one point in the rally when he mentioned Oz.
But Trump was steadfast in his support of Oz during the rally, arguing that he was much more of a fighter than McCormick.
“[McCormick] will quickly fold to the fake news, and he’s going to fold immediately to the radical left Democrats. That’s the way he is, and that’s the way he will be. Oz will never do that. He will fight till the end, and he will always have your back,” Trump declared.
Trump also ripped McCormick’s connections to China.
“I do know that he was with a company that managed money for Communist China. And he is absolutely the candidate of special interests and globalists and the Washington establishment,” he said. “We can always count on Dr. Oz to stand up for the United States and against Communist China. And if you don’t mind, I’d like to have Dr. Oz come up and say a few words.”
The primary election in the race is set to take place May 17. Standing near Trump at the event was J.D. Vance, who won the Republican primary Senate seat in Ohio earlier this week. Vance had been lagging behind in the polls until Trump issued his widely coveted endorsement, catapulting him to the forefront.
With his endorsement of Oz, Trump hopes to maintain his undefeated endorsement record in the 2022 Republican primary season. Trump has gone 55-0 so far in 2022 — something he touted during the rally.