Mehmet Oz—a New Jersey Republican millionaire best known for pushing conspiracy theories and endorsing unproven products and non-scientific advice who is running in the 2022 US Senate election in Pennsylvania—was mocked after sharing a bizarre photoshopped image of his Democratic rival John Fetterman and Senator Bernie Sanders, a Vermont Independent.
Facing stiff competition from Fetterman, Oz has tried to link him with Sanders, a favorite target among conservatives who are diametrically opposed to his progressive vision.
Days after declaring Fetterman wants to "follow Bernie's lead and be his sidekick," Oz posted an image of Fetterman and Sanders' faces very poorly photoshopped in place of the characters actors Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly played in the 2008 hit comedy Stepbrothers.
The image—which asserts Fetterman and Sanders are "Best Friends"—can be seen below.
Fetterman would later respond to Oz's message with a mocking image of a multi-coloured background and an animated cat with the caption, "Graphic design is my passion."
Others soon joined in with their own criticisms of Oz's behavior.
The race between Oz and Fetterman has grown heated in recent days and Oz hit back at Fetterman and the Democratic Party at large during an appearance on Fox News in which he said that Democrats have "cleverly" roused support over issues related to reproductive rights and gun control.
Oz's remarks came not long after The Pittsburgh Post-Gazettereported Fetterman has raised $9.9 million to Oz’s $1.1 million and has five times more cash on hand.
Fetterman, who suffered a near-fatal stroke in May, has generated support in his time off the campaign trail by launching social media campaigns that have emphasized Oz's ties to New Jersey and minimal ties to Pennsylvania.
Earlier, The Philadelphia Inquirerreported Oz lived in North Jersey for more than three decades. And while Oz has said he moved to Pennsylvania in 2020 to live with his in-laws, his social media posts and campaign ads have showed him still in New Jersey.
These facts prompted Fetterman to enlist none other than Nicole "Snooki" LaValle—best known for starring on the reality series Jersey Shore—to troll him for living in the state.
The video received millions of views after Fetterman uploaded it to Twitter and has been generally lauded as an example of creative and effective social media outreach.