Mehmet Oz, a former surgeon who became a TV personality and is running as a Republican for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat, had video footage of a recent grocery-shopping trip go viral on Twitter
The video, originally posted in April, shows Oz inside a supermarket selecting items for a crudités platter while complaining about high food prices.
At the beginning of the video, Oz appears to conflate the names of two grocery-store chains — Redner’s and Wegmans — by calling the store in which he’s being filmed “Wegners.”
Throughout the video, Oz laments the price of each of the items he purports to be purchasing at his wife’s direction, and ends the video by saying, “Guys, that’s $20 for crudités, and that doesn’t include the tequila. I mean, that’s outrageous. We’ve got Joe Biden to thank for this.”
The grocery-shopping video from Oz has been viewed more than 10 million times on Twitter alone.
This style of video is not new for the Pennsylvania candidate. He has posted similar stream-of-consciousness videos on his social-media profiles throughout his campaign — including ones about gas prices and battery manufacturing.
Oz is running against Democrat John Fetterman, currently Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor. Fetterman posted a rapid response to Oz’s viral video on Monday.
From there, the Fetterman campaign turned its teasing up several notches, taking aim, for one thing, at Oz’s misnaming of the grocery store, for which the Fetterman team even crafted a logo.
The Philadelphia-area local of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union piled on:
As did this parody account, which took its own crack at branding the fictional supermarket:
Fetterman leads Oz by 10.8 percentage points in FiveThirtyEight’s average of polls — and that polling lead has more than doubled since July.
The virality of the Oz video notwithstanding, food costs did jump in July as evidenced by the latest CPI report. Prices for food for home consumption were up 1.3% vs. June and 13.1% from July 2021, marking the largest annual price increase for groceries since 1979, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Egg prices rose by 4.3% in July and are up 38% over the past year, while the price of potatoes rose 4.6% in July and are up 13.3% over the last year. Coffee prices are up some 20% over the past year. Overall, the U.S. rate of inflation in the 12 months in July fell back to 8.5% from a 41-year high of 9.1% in June.