- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 10, 2022

Former President Donald Trump on Thursday tried to distance himself from Mehmet Oz’s failure in Pennsylvania and denied reports that he blamed his wife, Melania, for pushing him toward the celebrity doctor as a preferred Senate candidate.

Mr. Trump backed Mr. Oz in the GOP primary over David McCormick, who was considered the establishment’s preferred candidate. 

Mr. Oz lost to Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in Tuesday’s election, giving Democrats a crucial pickup in the battle for the Senate and sparking finger-pointing in the GOP.

Mr. Trump fumed over reports he blamed the former first lady and Fox News host Sean Hannity for steering him toward Mr. Oz.

“First of all Oz is a wonderful guy who really worked hard and was a very good candidate, but he WAS LONG IN THE RACE before I ever Endorsed him, they had NOTHING to do with it, he was not a ‘denier’ (his mistake!), & I was not at all ANGRY. Fake News!” Mr. Trump wrote on Truth Social, the social media platform he launched after getting kicked off Twitter.

Mr. Trump initially endorsed another Pennsylvania Senate candidate, Sean Parnell, in the GOP race. Mr. Parnell didn’t make it to the primary election, quitting the campaign in the middle of a nasty divorce and custody battle.

Key figures in the GOP are faulting Mr. Trump after an expected red wave failed to materialize. 

Though the GOP should retake the House, some Republicans say Trump-backed candidates underperformed and made it hard to win a solid House majority or retake the Senate.

Mr. Trump also faulted Don Bolduc, who lost a Senate race to Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, for backing off his claims the 2020 election was stolen from Mr. Trump.

“Had he stayed strong and true, he would have won, easily,” Mr. Trump wrote. “Lesson Learned!!”

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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