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Pro-Oz band changes ‘You’re Fired’ ad against McCormick

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Pro-Oz band changes ‘You’re Fired’ ad against McCormick

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The original TV spot said McCormick, a former hedge fund CEO who was going up against famed doctor Mehmet Oz for the Pennsylvania GOP Senate nomination, “criticized President Trump’s China policy — no wonder Trump fired him.” . An all-caps chyron on screen blasted, “PRESIDENT TRUMP TO McCORMICK: YOU’RE FIRED.”

The new edited ad being aired says nothing about Trump’s canning of McCormick. Instead, a narrator accuses McCormick of “criticizing President Trump’s China policy – that doesn’t put America first.”

The battle between the pro-Oz group and McCormick’s campaign over negative publicity demonstrates the grip Trump continues to have on the Republican Party ahead of this year’s midterm elections. GOP campaigns and their allies are determined to paint their opponents as NeverTrumpers — while claiming the MAGA mantle for themselves. Oz and McCormick, who are widely considered two of the top candidates in the Republican primary, have touted their “America First” beliefs and sought to minimize deviations from conservative orthodoxy.

American Leadership Action, the pro-Oz group, did not respond to a request for comment. In the ad, he previously pointed to a November 2020 Fox News article as evidence that Trump had fired McCormick.

The article, which was linked to a foreign policy report that announced the news, stated that “the Department of Defense said on Friday that a number of members of its Defense Policy Board – including former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright – had been removed from their posts” as well as “former Under Secretary of the Treasury David McCormick”.

In the letter to station officials, a McCormick campaign lawyer pointed out that Foreign Policy had written a follow-up article that read, “An update from last week: Former Treasury official David McCormick, once a candidate as head of the Pentagon, will remain on the board.”

McCormick’s team sent a second letter citing a government document as further evidence that McCormick remained on the board until February 2021, after Trump left.

“Lies are all the Mehmet Oz camp has because the truth – that he’s a Hollywood liberal and Dave McCormick is a veteran Pennsylvania conservative – is their worst enemy,” said Jess Szymanski, spokesperson for McCormick. “This retracted false ad only reinforces what Pennsylvanians already know: Dave McCormick is proven and loyal to Pennsylvania and Mehmet Oz cannot be trusted.”

The GOP contest in Pennsylvania for the seat vacated by Republican Sen. Pat Toomey is already hugely expensive and increasingly controversial.

Both self-funded, Oz spent $4.1 million and booked an additional $1.3 million on ad time, according to ad tracking firm AdImpact, while McCormick lost nearly $3.4 million on ad time. advertisements and committed an additional $385,000.

American Leadership Action, meanwhile, spent or earmarked $1.2 million on TV ads. AdImpact confirmed that the organization’s spot hitting McCormick was changed as a result of McCormick’s two campaign letters.

Two anti-Oz groups, Honor Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Patriots Victory Fund, have so far spent or committed $1.1 million and $166,000, respectively, on television. Their spots accused Oz of being a “Hollywood liberal” and criticized him for his previous positive comments on the Affordable Care Act.

A super PAC boosting real estate developer Jeff Bartos spent or committed over $1 million, including on an ad calling Oz and McCormick “out-of-state politicians” trying to “buy a Pennsylvania Senate seat.” Carla Sands, former ambassador to Denmark during the Trump administration, also spent or booked more than $1.8 million on television.

McCormick, who criticized Trump after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, was careful to shield MAGA from his campaign. He has hired former senior Trump officials and distanced himself from his former company’s ties to China.

In addition to challenging the claim that Trump fired him, McCormick’s campaign also refuted other allegations in the American Leadership Action spot, including that he called China an “ally” and outsourced jobs in Pittsburgh. These attacks remained in the commercials, although Team McCormick is still fighting them.

Daniel Lippman contributed to this report.

Pro-Oz band changes ‘You’re Fired’ ad against McCormick

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