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Mehmet Oz tells Trump supporters why they should vote for him to be the Republican nominee from Pennsylvania for U.S. Senate during the Save America Rally held at Westmoreland Fairgrounds Friday.

GREENSBURG, Pa. – Supporters of Donald Trump stood in inches-deep mud amidst a driving rainstorm Friday night to hear the former president give his support to fellow Republican Mehmet Oz, who is running in this year’s race for one of Pennsylvania’s seats in the U.S. Senate.

The two were joined by a cast of allies at the Westmoreland Fairgrounds, including U.S. Reps. Mike Kelly, John Joyce, Guy Reschenthaler and Alexander Mooney, along with MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance and Dinesh D’Souza, creator of the movie “2000 Mules.”

Trump had previously endorsed Oz in the crowded Pennsylvania GOP field.

“You’re going to send Dr. Oz to fight for you in the U.S. Senate,” Trump told the crowd, which waited hours to hear him speak.

Trump said Oz, star of “The Dr. Oz Show,” has the best chance among the Republican candidates of winning in the general election.

“Dr. Oz is a man who truly believes in making America great again,” Trump said.

Talking about himself and Trump, Oz said, “Insiders, the establishment, they hate us because we threaten the status quo. We go after them.”

Oz spoke about his “America first” philosophy and the global presence of China.

Mehmet Oz’s rivals in Pennsylvania’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate are escalating their attacks on the celebrity heart surgeon’s connections to his parents’ native country of Turkey, raising it as a possible national security issue. Oz, best known as TV’s Dr. Oz, has rejected any suggestions he is a threat to national security and has accused his opponents, particularly GOP rival David McCormick, of making “bigoted attacks.” If elected, Oz would be the nation’s first Muslim senator. The criticism of Oz and his ties to Turkey has mushroomed in the weeks after Oz won the endorsement of former President Donald Trump, who remains deeply popular with conservative voters.

“We’re not fighting just for the soul of Pennsylvania, or the soul of the country,” Oz said. “We’re fighting for the soul of the world, and we will beat China.”

Reschenthaler, whose redrawn 14th Congressional District will soon include almost all of Somerset County, said he supports Oz because he believes Oz is “pro-life,” pro-Second Amendment, pro-Israel and pro-MAGA.

“That’s Dr. Oz in spades,” Reschenthaler said.

Joyce, whose 13th Congressional District includes Johnstown, spoke about drugs, education, crime, inflation and “protecting the unborn in their mothers’ womb,” while criticizing President Joe Biden, a Democrat.

Joyce said that if Republicans take back the Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, “We will be the strong republic that we were destined to be.”

Donald Trump speaks

Former President Donald Trump campaigns for Pennsylvania United States Senate Republican candidate Mehmet Oz in Greensburg on Friday.

Trump: ‘I won twice’

Trump’s speech mostly resembled his 2020 campaign rallies, during which he promoted his agenda, touted what he considered to be his successes and took issue with Democrats and the media.

One new issue was the war in Ukraine that started when Russia invaded earlier this year. It followed the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, ending two decades of war in some chaos.

“(Russian President Vladimir) Putin saw this incredible weakness, and that’s when he decided to invade Ukraine,” Trump said. “He didn’t look at Ukraine when I was there. It would have never, ever have happened. 100%.”

Part of the rally included Trump-backed allegations that the 2020 presidential election he lost to Biden was fraudulent.

D’Souza alleges in his film and said in his speech that ballot-stuffing occurred that swayed the result in Biden’s favor.

“What’s wrong with the media? What’s wrong with people that don’t want the truth to come out?” Lindell asked. “You have to ask yourself this.”

Trump spoke about the election, too, claiming, “I ran twice. I won twice.”

He added: “And now we may have to do it again.”

The former president and his backers brought more than 60 federal and state lawsuits across the nation, including approximately a dozen in Pennsylvania, challenging aspects of the election. All except one were rejected for lack of merit or standing.

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A Donald Trump supporter checks out an RV covered with Trump signs at the Save America Rally at Westmoreland Fairgrounds in Greensburg on Friday.

Political foes react

Two of the frontrunners in the GOP primary – Oz and David McCormick, a hedge fund executive – moved to Pennsylvania to run for Senate. Democrats and some Republicans have repeatedly raised the residency aspect of their candidacies.

They are “two out-of-state multi-multi-multi-millionaires, who have no connection at all to how people live in places like western Pennsylvania. None,” U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, a Democratic candidate for Senate, said during a recent campaign stop in Cambria County.

“So they’re going to come in and blame the Biden administration for inflation, and the border, and this, that and the other thing. My question is going to be, ‘What are you proposing?’ ”

Trump said McCormick is “not MAGA.”

Earlier in the day, McCormick’s campaign sent out a press release with comments from Mike Pompeo, the former U.S. secretary of state and director of the Central Intelligence Agency, regarding Oz’s connection to Turkey, including Oz voting in that country’s 2018 presidential election.

“Not only did he not engage in the American political process, but he engaged in the Turkish political process and that raises, in my mind, lots of judgments about his priorities, and we need to get him and his team to explain why he had time and energy and focus to vote in a Turkish election, but not in an American election,” Pompeo said.

“And you stack that up with some of the work that he has done, some of the political involvement he’s had with Turkey, and I think that ... the Mehmet Oz campaign owes the people of Pennsylvania an explanation for this.”

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5056. Follow him on Twitter @Dave_Sutor.

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