Pennsylvania Republican Senate hopeful David McCormick is leaning into Donald Trump and his political movement even after the former president took a swipe at him last week.
In an interview with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo on Monday, McCormick insisted that he’s “running on President Trump’s great ‘America First’ agenda,” casting himself as an acolyte of the former president despite the fact that Trump has endorsed celebrity physician Mehmet Oz in the Pennsylvania Republican Senate primary.
“We’re sprinting down the homestretch here, and this is an incredibly important primary. And yes, I’m running on President Trump’s great ‘America First’ agenda,” McCormick said. “I think President Trump did a great job for Pennsylvania, and I’m running as the person who’s battle tested and Pennsylvania true and can actually win this primary, win this race.”
McCormick’s remarks came three days after Trump held a rally in Pennsylvania to stump for Oz ahead of the state’s May 17 primaries.
In a speech, Trump praised Oz, a first-time candidate, as a steadfast adherent of his “Make America Great Again” movement, and hammered McCormick as more like retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) “than he is MAGA.” Toomey was one of seven Republican senators who voted last year to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial.
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“I don’t know David well, and he may be a nice guy, but he’s not MAGA,” Trump said. “He’s not MAGA. He’s more Toomey than he is MAGA.”
McCormick is one of more than a half-dozen candidates seeking the GOP nomination to succeed Toomey in the Senate, though Oz has emerged as the front-runner in the race since Trump endorsed him last month. Still, the race remains close, with recent polls showing Oz leading McCormick by slim single-digit margins.
On the Democratic side, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has pulled far ahead of the rest of the primary field. A poll released last week by Franklin & Marshall College showed Fetterman hitting 53 percent in the primary, while his closest rival, Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) notched only 14 percent.