Jun 2, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Pa. Dems launch two campaigns as GOP recount drags

Screengrabs of Dr. Oz and David McCormick from an ad campaign

Screengrabs from DSCC's video attack ads.

Senate Democrats' campaign arm isn’t waiting for a recount in the Republican primary between Dave McCormick and Mehmet Oz. It’s launching a general election campaign now — against both — officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: Pennsylvania's open Senate race could determine which party controls the majority next year.

  • Democrats' own nominee, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, has been recovering from a stroke.
  • The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee wants to be talking about the GOP rivals — portraying both as wealthy carpetbaggers out of touch with Pennsylvania workers.

Details: Dems will label McCormick and Oz as “damaged goods” — highlighting their positions on Social Security and Medicare, and the GOP tax plan, and claiming both candidates have enriched themselves through connections to China.

  • The DSCC is releasing two videos attacking the candidates. One calls McCormick a "Wall Street insider" who cozied up to China and moved from Connecticut to secure a Senate seat.
  • The other attacks Oz for "pretending to be from Pennsylvania and pushing Trump's election lies."
  • The Pennsylvania Democratic Party will host a Thursday press call with Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn.) making the case against McCormick and Oz.  
  • Dems also are holding in-person media events around the state, beginning with Philadelphia on Thursday and Harrisburg on Friday.

What they're saying: DSCC spokesman Patrick Burgwinkle told Axios that "Democrats are wasting no time" defining Oz as a "scam artist" and McCormick as a "Wall Street insider.” He said Democrats want to ensure that the eventual GOP nominee "will be entering the general election even more badly damaged.”

The other side:

  • Oz communications director Brittany Yanick tied Fetterman to Biden’s agenda, saying it “harms Pennsylvania workers and makes our communities less safe” and that Oz would ”stand up for our values and help heal“ the nation.
  • McCormick’s campaign spokesperson Jess Szymanski told Axios he “is the only candidate with real experience standing up to the Chinese“ and noted he's “a seventh generation Pennsylvanian" who "grew up working on his family’s farm which he has owned himself for the last decade.”
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