Dr Oz ridiculed over awkward campaign video ‘grocery shopping’ with his wife: ‘Who thought this was a good idea’

·5 min read

A recent attempt by Dr Mehmet Oz to appeal to the average Joe voter is having a second life on social media and the response is likely not going to bolster his likeability in his campaign for Pennsylvania Senate.

In the brief campaign video, shared by the Republican candidate in April before he won the GOP primary, Dr Oz is seen shopping in a Pennsylvania store for a list of grocery items to help his wife, Lisa Oz, make crudité for the evening.

In the video clip, which has been making the rounds online again thanks to getting a lift from attorney Ron Filipkowski, Dr Oz narrates his trip through the store, which gets off to a not so great start after he incorrectly identifies it as a “Wegners” – a chain that doesn’t exist, but one that social media commenters were quick to assess must be a mashup of the Pennsylvania-based supermarket chain Redner’s and New York-based group of stores called Wegmans.

“Just Oz doing some quick grocery shopping at ‘Wegners’, a store that doesn’t exist because he means Redners or Wegmans. Next on ‘Fraud, with @DrOz ‘, learn about the second quarter in a Flyers game and how many home runs the Steelers hit!” tweeted comedian Steve Hofstetter.

The Pennsylvania Senate candidate is then seen picking up a selection of fresh vegetables and condiments, listing off each item’s price as he overstocks his arms with the teetering produce.

“Six dollars? Must be a shortage of salsa,” Dr Oz says when reaching for a fresh jar of pico de gallo. After tallying up his haul, he notes that in all, he’ll be spending $20 for a fresh spread of crudité.

“And this doesn’t include the tequila,” he quips. “I mean, that’s outrageous. And we got Joe Biden to thank for this.”

Most of the critique online delivered at the GOP candidate denotes how contrived the whole campaign clip is, with some pointing out how some of the items he’s expressing shock at are listed for a regular price while others jested that his it’s likely the first time the celebrity – estimated to have a net worth of more than $100m – has done his own grocery shopping in decades.

“Seeing a lot of critiques of Dr. Oz here and I think it’s unfair. He’s doing a great job for a guy who literally hasn’t done his own shopping in a grocery store or made his own meals in a decade,” tweeted Leah Greenberg, while another user simply replied: “Who thought this was a good idea.”

Chef José Andrés, a Spanish chef who founded the non-profit World Central Kitchen, which is devoted to providing meals to people in the wake of natural disasters, took the Senate candidate’s widely panned video as an opportunity to enlighten the celebrity doctor turned politician about simple ways to cut costs at the checkout.

“@DrOz I’m inviting you to come with me and shop together! Buy the avocado+tomatoes you can make the guacamole+salsa for 2$ and you can make great vegetable fried rice for 12 people! Less than 1$ per person!” Mr Andres tweeted alongside the hashtag #LearnToShopBipartisan.

Dr Oz, who is fighting to keep Pat Toomey’s Pennsylvania Senate seat in Republican hands after the senator’s retirement, will face off against Lt Gov John Fetterman in the fall midterms.

Mr Fetterman only recently returned to in-person events on the campaign trail after he was forced to rest up after suffering a stroke three months ago, an event that revealed the Democrat had an underlying heart condition.

Because of this, the Democratic challenger was forced to conduct his bid for Pennsylvania Senate in a digital campaign, with the lion’s share of his attacks zeroing in on his opponent’s properties held outside the state of Pennsylvania, where he apparently lived and, as recently as 2020, was voting.