Mehmet Oz, the Republican candidate for US Senate in Pennsylvania, risked mockery on Monday by giving the impression he believes the state, which is landlocked, has an Atlantic coastline.
“Pennsylvania is way is too important,” the celebrity doctor told the Fox News host Sean Hannity.
“And listen, this is important, we do not have a Republican senator north of North Carolina on the Atlantic coast, until you get to Maine, if I don’t hold this seat. There’s been a Republican senator in Pennsylvania most of my life, I’m gonna keep one here as well.”
According to the Coastal Research Center at Stockton University in Galloway Township, New Jersey, that state has “roughly 130 miles” of Atlantic coast.
Philadelphia, the biggest city in Pennsylvania, is home to a huge and thriving port. But its shipping hub sits on the Delaware River, which empties into the Atlantic miles downstream between Delaware and New Jersey.
Oz’s Democratic opponent, John Fetterman, has already made hay on the campaign trail by pointing out that Oz has stronger ties to neighboring New Jersey than to Pennsylvania.
In July, the Fetterman campaign paid for a plane to fly over the beaches of the Jersey shore, trailing the message: “HEY DR OZ, WELCOME HOME TO NJ! ❤ JOHN.”
The Pennsylvania race, to replace the retiring Republican Pat Toomey, could be key to deciding control of the Senate.
On Tuesday, a week before midterms election day, the polling website FiveThirtyEight put Fetterman a little over one point up on Oz.