Did Donald Trump Just Burn Some Bridges With His Base Over the Dr. Oz Endorsement?

AP Photo/Jason Behnken

I shall repeat here again what I have said many times since the election of Donald Trump in 2016 about his political life: I don’t know why he does what he does at times but he never seems to get hurt by it.


Oh sure, his enemies despise the ground he walks on and the air he breathes, but it is so fun to watch him screw with these people and troll them, which I wrote about here yesterday (Did Donald Trump Unveil His 2024 Slogan on Fri. Night’s Kid Rock Concert?). He gets his foes so wound up and it is truly a joy to watch Twitter explode about POTUS 45 when he is not even on that platform.

Attention, Elon Musk.

Yet every one of us is flawed — we all roll the dice one too many times, push the envelope much more than we know we should, and everyone occasionally just simply takes a wrong turn and makes a bad decision. Donald Trump may have done this for the first time in a YUGE way in his short political life. Last night, a very vocal and loyal segment of his base showed displeasure with him and indicated they would maybe turn their back on him.


Donald Trump, on Saturday night, held a rally in North Carolina where he made a controversial endorsement in the Republican primary in Pennsylvania. “The Donald” came out and endorsed Dr. Oz of Oprah Winfrey fame. The doctor was a regular guest of Winfrey’s on her show before he then landed his own show which he has had for close to two decades.

Trump endorsing someone is not surprising.

What caught my eye last night was that some of the people that I know — and several others I follow — were having a very bad reaction to the announcement. My very first clue that something was possibly amiss was that my colleague and columnist extraordinaire over at Town Hall, Kurt Schlichter, tweeted this after the news broke…


Kurt is a verbal flamethrower who loves torching liberals’ views like marshmallows over a campfire but he also is a die-hard conservative who believes in not having too many inter-party squabbles because it is akin to friendly fire. So that he came out as soon as this news broke, along with many others who I would call die-hard Trump supporters who had the same reaction, it made me ponder.

Did Donald finally trip a wire and blow up some of his significant base of support?

My colleague here at RedState, Bonchie, has some questions about this move. He wrote this on Saturday night: Donald Trump Makes His Worst Endorsement Yet: Dr. Oz. From that article…

I’m not sure offering endorsements to people based on them being on TV for a long time is the best strategy. Whoopi Goldberg has been on TV for a long time. John Stewart was on TV for a long time. Being popular alone is not a political positive. Ideology and policy still matter. Yet, it seems like Trump just went with whoever wasn’t the “establishment” pick (but could still win the primary), without a thought for what he’s actually throwing his weight behind.

And look, this isn’t about Dr. Oz’s personality or any other shallow critique. If that was the only issue here, this endorsement wouldn’t even be worthy of a shoulder shrug. Rather, it’s Dr. Oz’s liberal history and murky positions that are the problem. For my money, his flip-flopping and incoherence regarding abortion are enough to cause major concern. I’ll let a lot of issues slide, if a politician is otherwise acceptable. That’s not one of them.

Dr. Oz also expressed support for Obamacare following Barack Obama’s win in 2008. Further, he has offered support for red flag laws, which give the government the ability to violate the Second Amendment rights of Americans just because someone filed a complaint. Heck, he’s even written in support of the idea that “systemic racism” exists in the healthcare industry.


As I said above, no one is perfect, and every person and group does have a breaking point. With the overwhelmingly negative response I read on Twitter and other social media last night, it is at least something to consider that maybe some of the Trump appeal has worn off.

Now, I know that if a race today were held between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, every one of those people who are complaining about Trump’s endorsement would — in a heartbeat — vote for Donald Trump. The question I have is whether or not these people will continue to donate to Trump’s PAC and would they continue to support him in an upcoming primary race for the nomination in 2024 against somebody like Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida?

That Trump made his announcement just two days after a new poll came out in Pennsylvania that had David McCormick leading Oz by a razor-thin 1.2 points in the primary race is curious to me also.

A new WHTM/Emerson College Polling/The Hill Pennsylvania primary poll shows David McCormick and Mehmet Oz continuing to lead in the Republican race for one of Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seats.

In a poll of 1,000 likely Republican Pennsylvania voters, former hedge fund CEO McCormick finished first with 17.8%, followed by the former television personality Oz with 16.6%.

Kathy Barnette finished third with 10.2%, followed by Jeff Bartos at 8.9% and Carla Sands at 7.7%.

George Bochetto received 3.8% and Sean Gale finished with 2.5%. Nearly 33% of voters reported they were undecided.


Pennsylvania is a blue state, much like my home state of Michigan, that on occasion can trend a bit purple. Why that matters is that in the past three or four months, I have talked with a number of people in the polling industry who said that if  Oz were the nominee in November, Pennsylvania would be in play for a Republican win in the general. I have no idea if this is part of the formulation of why Trump endorsed someone like Oz that his base does not like but it is also something worth pondering. If the GOP is to retake the Senate in November, the margin is going to be incredibly important as the current 50/50 split in that chamber has shown.

That many comments that I read yesterday comparing Oz to Utah senator Mitt Romney could be spot-on is another reason why this backlash occurred last night. I do know that a majority of three or four Senators with Mitch McConnell at the helm makes me feel slightly better about the last two years of the crap show that is the Biden administration.

Will the backlash that I watched last night, stick with Trump long-term and carry over with people tuning him out and not listening to other endorsements he makes? I personally have no idea yet. I am one of the boatloads of people who underestimated Donald Trump in 2016 and have been confounded by his tactics several times.

So the lesson I learned and have taken to heart is: Don’t underestimate Donald Trump. Unless, of course, he just ticks off his whole base — which we will find out if the instant backlash he received last night continues with any momentum going forward into later this year.


With just 37 days until the Pennsylvania primary on May 17th to decide who will represent the GOP in the Keystone State in November, time is running short and the $%^&show is just getting started.

As always please check out my bio here at RedState with any questions, comments, or concerns.


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