'Absolute bottom of the barrel': John Fetterman supporters slam Dr. Oz’s latest attack as 'desperation'

'Absolute bottom of the barrel': John Fetterman supporters slam Dr. Oz’s latest attack as 'desperation'

Of all the GOP-held U.S. Senate seats that Democrats are going after in the 2022 midterms, the one they appear to have the best chance of flipping is the one held by the retiring Sen. Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the Democratic nominee, has enjoyed single-digit leads over his Republican opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz, in most polls released during the second half of September.

Hoping to derail Fetterman’s campaign, Oz and members of the Republican National Committee (RNC) have come up with a new line of attack: trying to associate Fetterman with the Crips. And Fetterman’s supporters are slamming the attack as a pathetic example of the Oz campaign’s “desperation.”

In an article published by the Daily Beast on September 29, journalists Ursula Perano and Jake Lahut report, “Republicans are pushing a not-so-subtle narrative that Democratic nominee John Fetterman supports — or maybe even has ties to — a gang. The Crips, to be exact.”

READ MORE: Mehmet Oz's campaign blames John Fetterman's stroke on his diet

The Oz campaign is obsessing over Fetterman’s spelling of Braddock, the Western Pennsylvania town where he was once mayor, as “Braddocc.” During a 2015 interview, Fetterman explained that he sometimes misspelled Braddock on purpose to show that there “two Braddocks” — one of “despair and decline,” and memories of a time when the town had “14 furniture stores and three movie theaters.”

On September 27, Oz tweeted a Breitbart article headlined “PA Democrat John Fetterman Embraced Spelling of Braddock That Showed Fidelity to Notorious Crip Gang.”

Joe Calvello, a spokesman for Fetterman’s campaign, slammed Oz’s line of attack as “absolute bottom-of-the-barrel bullshit.” Calvello told the Beast, “Like, you can see how desperate these guys are getting…. This is what they’re reaching to…. and it’s frankly embarrassing…. Under John, Crips in Braddock were taken off the street and put in jail.”

According to Perano and Lahut, Oz’s “Crips messaging…. doesn’t necessarily translate” in Philadelphia. Although Philly has plenty of violent crime, the Crips don’t have a strong presence in Pennsylvania’s largest city — and the city’s violence is highly “localized.”

READ MORE: 'A simple yes or no': Fetterman demands Oz share position on GOP’s proposed federal abortion ban

George Mosee, executive director for the Philadelphia Anti-Drug/Anti-Violence Network, told the Beast, “What we don’t have are the Crips and the Bloods on a large-scale basis. And for that reason, we don’t have affiliations that are actually marked by tattoos, clothing. To a large extent, that just doesn’t happen in Philadelphia.”

READ MORE: John Fetterman: 'Dr. Oz is a fraud' for taking farm subsidy

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