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PENNSYLVANIA (LifeSiteNews) – Former President Donald Trump disappointed some of his most ardent supporters over the weekend by endorsing TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz in the Republican primary for a U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania, despite his history of staking out left-wing positions on issues important to conservatives.

“I have known Dr. Oz for many years, as have many others, even if only through his very successful television show,” Trump said on April 9. “He has lived with us through the screen and has always been popular, respected, and smart. He even said that I was in extraordinary health, which made me like him even more (although he also said I should lose a couple of pounds!).”

Trump claimed Oz “is Pro-Life, very strong on Crime, the Border, Election Fraud, our Great Military, and our Vets, Tax Cuts, and will always fight for and support our under-siege Second Amendment,” and that he “will be the one most able to win the General Election” because of his alleged appeal to women as well as voters in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, “where other candidates will just not be accepted.”

Trump’s endorsement reflects Oz’s conservative campaign rhetoric, but contrasts sharply against the host’s past public statements. As recently as 2019, he attacked abortion bans predicated on the presence of fetal heartbeats, on the grounds that “they’re electrical changes at six weeks, but the heart’s not beating,” as well as suggested that Roe v. Wade saved women from largely-mythical “coat hanger” abortions and framed his “personal” opposition to abortion as distinct from what the law should be.

In 2010, Oz emerged as a critical, early backer of “transitioning” gender-confused children, running an hour-long special about “transgender children” that promoted a fifteen-year-old girl who had undergone a double mastectomy at age fourteen and an eight-year-old boy being raised as a girl named “Josie.”

The episode also featured Chicago pediatrician and transgender activist Dr. Robert Garofalo, who encouraged parents to disregard medical professionals and give gender-confused kids highly dangerous, off-label hormone drugs and “sex change” surgeries before they turn sixteen. Garofalo credits his Dr. Oz appearance as a breakthrough for his career that led him to shift his focus specifically to experimental transgender drugs and surgeries for children.

Trump’s endorsement was met with disappointment and pushback from various conservative and/or pro-Trump personalities:

Oz is one of seven Republicans running for the GOP nomination for the Senate seat, though polls indicate the race is effectively between him and frontrunner David McCormick, a former Bush administration official and CEO of the investment firm Bridgewater Associates. McCormick’s background has led some populist conservatives to suggest he would be even less reliable than Oz, though Trump could have abstained from endorsing either candidate.

Trump continues to enjoy an intensely loyal base of supporters, as well as many who believe he deserves another chance at a victory they feel he was cheated out of due to vote fraud and media suppression of damaging information about Joe Biden. Others, however, have soured on Trump due to his mixed handling of conservative priorities, including a spotty endorsement record in GOP primaries.