Dr. Mehmet Oz, Pennsylvania Republican nominee for Senate, addressed the criticism he faced over a recent campaign move that some have called tone-deaf.
To highlight the record inflation plaguing American families, Dr. Oz published a video of him shopping for ingredients for a "crudité," a dish consisting of vegetables meaning "raw things" in French.
Several reacted to the viral video, pointing out the nominee's use of the appetizer's French name and reflecting on the millionaire heart surgeon and TV personality's lifestyle.
One reactor was none other than Dr. Oz's opponent, Democratic nominee PA Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman.
"In PA, we call this a veggie tray," Fetterman tweeted in response to Dr. Oz's video. Fetterman has since capitalized on his response, garnering what his campaign estimates as $500,000 in fundraising over the subsequent 24 hours following his tweet.
Dr. Oz joined "Varney & Co" Tuesday to respond to the backlash, stressing that the key issues plaguing Americans should matter more than his choice of words.
"Whether I pick words that were not conventional ones or not are irrelevant to the bigger challenges that we're facing in the Commonwealth in Pennsylvania," Dr. Oz told host Stuart Varney.
Despite criticism, Dr. Oz shared his confidence that the issues at hand outweigh any backlash over the crudité comment.
Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Penn., who joined Dr. Oz while visiting Robinson Fans Inc., a manufacturer in PA, in the ‘Varney & Co.’ segment, also shared confidence in Dr. Oz's campaign to bring an outsider into Washington.
"This is where they do fans. This is where they bring fresh air in," Rep. Kelly noted. "We need you in the Senate to bring fresh air into that body because it is deeply needed right now."
With November less than three months away, key Congressional races like Dr. Oz's Senate race in Pennsylvania are drawing more attention from voters.
A Trafalgar Group poll has Fetterman at roughly 48.4% and Dr. Oz at 43.5% of the votes.