Since the start of his campaign for Senate in Pennsylania, former celebrity TV host Dr. Mehmet Oz has been plagued with ridicule and criticism over the fact that he has for years lived in New Jersey and has a tenuous connection to the commonwealth.
On Thursday, New York Post Albany correspondent Zach Williams reported that one unlikely person made a joke about it at a meeting of the New York State Business Council: former Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
"I defend Dr. Oz because he is a longtime New Jerseyan," said Christie. "The problem is he's running in Pennsylvania."
Oz has particularly faced barbs about his residency by his Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who cut his teeth in politics as the mayor of the small Western Pennsylvania city of Braddock. Further inflaming criticism, he misspelled the name of his own town where he claimed residence on campaign filings.
Further compounding Oz's troubles have been campaign gaffes that went viral on social media and seemingly highlighted his lack of ties to Pennsylvania. In one infamous video in which he complained about food inflation while getting ingredients for "crudité," Oz claimed he was shopping at "Wegner's" — an apparent mixup of Wegman's and Redner's, two local supermarket chains. In another, Oz appeared to have shot a campaign ad from inside his mansion in New Jersey.
Polls currently show Oz trailing Fetterman but still usually within single digits. The two candidates will come together for a debate on October 25.