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McCormick Campaigns in DelVal With GOP Judicial Candidates

Senate candidate Dave McCormick traveled to Montgomery, Bucks, and Lehigh counties Monday, campaigning statewide with the Pennsylvania Republican Party’s endorsed judicial candidates.

The most high-profile candidate is Montco Judge Maria Carluccio, who is running for state Supreme Court against Philadelphia Democrat Judge Dan McCaffrey. While a Carluccio win wouldn’t tip the balance of the current 4-2 Democratic high court, she could move the GOP closer to a majority.

Introducing the judicial candidates, McCormick said, “These elections are so important. There’s so much optimism across Pennsylvania among Republicans. You need two things to win. You need great candidates, and you need great execution. We have incredible candidates here who are absolutely overqualified for these incredibly important jobs. They’re deeply committed. They have incredible values. I’ve had a chance to get to know all four of them.”

“These are candidates that are going to be impartial,” he added. “They are going to be judges for all Pennsylvanians. They’re not going to be political judges.”

Asked why he was campaigning with the judicial candidates, McCormick said, “They are running great races, and these judicial races are so important. I said that if I were the nominee, I’d campaign with the judges, so this is an opportunity to do that. And I think they’re all great people, of great character, and I think they’re imminently qualified.”

State Democratic spokeswoman Maddy McDaniel slammed McCormick for backing “dangerous, anti-abortion” Republican judges.

While Democrat McCaffrey is struggling to answer ethical questions related to his hiring of his domestic partner to serve on his staff, Carluccio is being hammered with ads over abortion.

“My opponents have made abortion an issue in this race,” Carluccio told DVJournal. “In Pennsylvania, a woman has a right to choose up to 24 weeks, and that’s the law that we, as judges, apply. Anyone who says we’re going to change that is an activist and someone who doesn’t understand their role in government.”

Senate candidate Dave McCormick (left) introduces Republican judicial candidates (from left) Judge Harry Smail Jr., Judge Carolyn Carluccio, Megan Martin, and Maria Battista at Capone’s restaurant in Norristown.

Judge Harry Smail Jr. is running for Superior Court, which hears appeals of criminal and civil cases. Smail has served for eight and half years on the Court of Common Pleas for Westmoreland County, handling family court cases and then complex civil litigation on a variety of nuanced legal issues related to government and municipal issues, elections, energy and land use, and constitutional challenges.

A former parole officer, he was in private practice for 17 years.

“I’m running to serve the people of Pennsylvania but also because I think that I’ve achieved a level in the courtroom and that court’s the judge of judges…I think it’s critical that you have that kind of Common Pleas experience… I’ve had over 100 appeals, and I’ve never had one reversed.”

Maria Battista

Maria Battista, also running for Superior Court, is back on the campaign trail after being struck by a car while putting up campaign signs. She has experience as a former prosecutor and with family and civil law.

She holds a J.D. and a doctorate in education and has worked in state government for the Departments of Health and State. As an administrative hearing officer, Battista has presided over hundreds of hearings.

“What I want people to know is, it will truly be equal justice under the law,” said Battista. “Justice is to be blind.”

Lawyer Megan Martin, who grew up in Wallingford but now lives in Cumberland County, is running for Commonwealth Court.

“We will be judges for all the people of Pennsylvania,” said Martin. “We’re going to be fair and impartial. We’re going to keep politics out of our courtroom where it absolutely does not belong. We’re going to defend your constitutional rights and defend the rule of law. We’re not going to legislate from the bench. We’re going to hold our government accountable.”

Martin told DVJournal she “believes in public service, and I’ve been called to serve.” She has dedicated nearly 30 years as a lawyer to public service. She was a civilian lawyer for the Navy and, most recently, was the first woman parliamentarian for the state Senate, where she was elected unanimously five times, serving for more than 10 years.

“It was a testament to the fair way that I carried out my duties,” Martin said.   State Chairman Lawrence Tabas also reminded voters that Oct. 31 is not just Halloween but the last day to apply for a mail-in ballot. The election is Nov. 7.

“Of the new applications for mail-in ballots, 41 percent are Republican,” said Tabas. While the party did not embrace mail-in ballots in the past, “we have adopted it,” he said.

“I’m here to say bank the vote,” said Tabas. “That’s the key to our victory.”

Dr. Oz Talks About Trump’s Endorsement, Marijuana, and Transgender Issues

Now that Dr. Mehmet Oz has former President Donald Trump’s endorsement, he believes half of the Republican electorate will break his way with the remainder of the candidates divvying up the rest.

“There’s one person who is [the Trump candidate]: Dr. Oz,” said Oz in a podcast interview with the Delaware Valley Journal on Wednesday. “There’s five who aren’t. And those five people now have to split up the remaining half of the electorate. And most of those voters are going to vote for me anyway, because they know I’m going to win. And they want someone who has a bold, loud voice who goes to Washington — not as backbencher — but as someone who can articulate exactly why conservative ideas are better ideas.”

As for attack ads from hedge fund CEO David McCormick, who is vying for Oz for first place in the polls, or PACs supporting McCormick, Oz explained his years on television have given them plenty of bogus ammo.

“They never show footage of me saying what they’re claiming…There’s a reason for that. They’ll pick the promo of a show. Listen, I’ve had a network television show, the top health show in the world for 13 years,” the celebrity heart surgeon said.

Both Oz and McCormick angled for Trump’s endorsement. Oz said he received it because Trump “did his homework. He compared me to Dave McCormick and looked at the details of our records. Did we stand up for folks? Are we pro-Second Amendment, pro-life? Are we pro-American energy dominance? Are we tough on crime? Will we fight against the woke mob that wants to tear down much of what they think is our irredeemably stained society?

“And he decided I was the best person to carry that banner,” Oz said.

But what about the moderate Republican voters in the Delaware Valley suburbs?

“The Republicans that I speak to in the four counties, and I spend a lot of time in my home district…strongly believe in the conservative values espoused by the Trump administration. Yes, it made them uncomfortable to see some of the tweets. But as I make clear when you’re being attacked continually with a dishonest and far-left, liberal-leaning media, in many cases, you do get to become a bit of a porcupine and you need to have thick skin and the ability to punch back when people attack you.”

If the Republican primary voters pick Oz as their nominee he could very well be pitted against Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a progressive who is leading in the polls on the Democratic side.

While Fetterman wants a moratorium on fracking, Oz favors U.S. energy independence and unleashing Pennsylvania’s natural energy abundance.

“We have all the resources we need that if we were able to harvest natural gas from out West or up North and pipe it through Philadelphia to where the Naval Yard used to be, and you can put it on ships. It would be a huge moneymaker for the city of Philadelphia (to) address our financial needs and help our allies stay safe from Russian or other toxic forces.”

And Fetterman has been a vocal proponent of legalizing recreational marijuana.

Oz, for his part, has no problem with medical marijuana but opposes legalizing pot for recreational use. Oz says he never tried marijuana himself, adding that as a doctor, he did not want to be impaired and unable to help his patients because he had gotten high.

“I have strong sentiments against the legalization of marijuana because we already have a problem with getting young people to work,” he said. “And if you build a psychological addiction, right, that tells people you can’t get through the day unless you smoke a joint, which is what Fetterman is saying is okay, we’re going to have even fewer people engaged in life and they lose their dignity when that happens.”

And, Oz spoke out against teaching young children about gender nonconformity.

“I’ve covered the topic of my show, 80 to 85 percent of kids who say they are transgender will naturally, if they’re not influenced, go back to their biological gender,” Oz said. “But if you change that natural history, if you place ideas in a 5-year-old kindergarten kid’s mind, then you’re going to mess with their mind. You’re not letting them do what kids have done throughout society. Once in a while, Johnny walks in mom’s shoes. It doesn’t mean anything. Love the child, embrace them, let them be who they need to be. And over time they work it out. If you interfere with that process, you hurt people.”

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Update: Trump Endorses Dr. Oz, Shakes Up PA Senate Campaign

In a potentially game-changing move in Pennsylvania’s crowded Republican U.S. Senate primary, former President Donald Trump endorsed reality TV celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz Saturday.

“This is all about winning elections in order to stop the Radical Left maniacs from destroying our country,” Trump said in his statement. 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,” Trump added.

“Dr. Oz is smart, tough and will never let you down, therefore he has my complete and total endorsement.”

Oz is engaged in a high-profile campaign ad war with former hedge fund exec David McCormick, who has his own connections to Trump and had clearly hoped he would get the former president’s backing. McCormick’s wife, Dina Powell, served as a deputy national security adviser in the Trump administration.

But it may have been Trump’s wife, Melania, who had the most influence. A source close to Trump told NBC News, “The first lady has let the president know that she likes Dr. Oz. And that matters.”

Oz thanked Trump for his support.

“Everyone, especially David McCormick – a pro-China, Wall Street insider, wanted this endorsement. But President Trump wisely endorsed me because I’m a conservative who will stand up to Joe Biden and the woke left,” Oz said in a statement.

“As Pennsylvania’s next senator, I will defend America First policies,” said Oz. “I will fight to unleash American energy, protect our Second Amendment, and drain the swamp of Washington insiders. I will be a powerful pro-life voice in the Senate, and I will protect our children from harmful woke indoctrination. And no one will fight harder against the radical policies of Joe Biden that are causing inflation, creating a crisis at our border, and weakening our position around the world.

“President Trump knows how critical it is to change the kinds of people we send to Washington. I’m ready to fight. I thank him for that, and I am proud to receive his endorsement,” Oz concluded.

GOP political strategists say it’s good news, but the race is hardly over.

“The Trump endorsement absolutely helps the undecided crowd who wanted Trump’s opinion before making their decision,” said Pennsylvania-based GOP strategist Charlie O’Neill. “However, I wouldn’t call the race yet. With five weeks to go, anything can happen. Oz and McCormick have spent millions defining each other, which has certainly had an effect on polling. Trump’s endorsement adds a new line of messaging for Oz he hopes will be a final blow. However, I don’t anticipate any of McCormick’s endorsements from former Trump officials to go anywhere, and he’ll continue to lean on them.

Bottom line: It’s a great day for Dr. Oz, but I don’t see McCormick going anywhere,” O’Neill said.

Not everyone in Trumpworld is happy with the president’s decision. Steve Bannon, who served as Trump’s White House chief strategist, is no fan of Dr. Oz, as he expressed in a recent podcast: “How does Dr. Oz, probably the most anti-MAGA guy, and you got Fox nonstop pimping this guy out and Newsmax pimping this guy out, and that’s what it is — how does Dr. Oz, from New Jersey, [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan’s buddy, floating in from Jersey, how does he become a factor in a Senate race in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania?”

And conservative columnist Kurt Schlicter called Oz “a squish at best.”

“In the off chance he gets elected, he would make Mitt Romney seem like Lauren Boebert.”

In his announcement Saturday, Trump repeated a theme he has mentioned several times regarding Oz’s candidacy: His appeal to women voters thanks to his TV persona. “Women, in particular, are drawn to Dr. Oz for his advice and counsel. I have seen this many times over the years. They know him, believe in him, and trust him.”

McCormick’s campaign responded to the Delaware Valley Journal’s request for a comment with a link to a from Jeff Roe tweet: “@DaveMcCormickPA is going to be the next Senator from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

In response, Jon Cooper @joncoopertweets said, “Florida man endorses New Jersey man for Pennsylvania Senate seat.”

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PA Pols Respond to Pain at the Pump

Average gasoline prices in Pennsylvania hit $4.42/gallon last week, an all-time high. That is $1.40 a gallon higher than a year ago, according to GasBuddy. It is not, however, the most costly gas per gallon when adjusted for inflation. That happened when gas hit $4.11 on July 17, 2008 — or about $5.25 in today’s dollars.

The highest nominal price today is under Democratic President Joe Biden. The highest in real dollars was under Republican Presidents George W. Bush. And there were wild swings in gas prices during the terms of Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

Fairly or unfairly, presidents tend to get blamed when gas prices rise. According to energy reporter Robert Rapier at, “The macro factors involving oil prices are far greater than the impacts from the decisions a president makes. A president can try to move the markets but those impacts are fleeting.”

But that gives little solace to Delaware Valley residents, who have taken to Facebook to express their feelings about pain at the pump.

“My corner Wawa just went up .26 cents overnight. It is now $4.459 per gallon. Home heating oil is up over $2 per gallon since August 2021. And the president wants everyone to go back (to) working at their office building instead of working at home? He is a joke!” said Philadelphia resident Andy Grant.

Elyse Fels, a Cheltenham resident, said, “It is what it is – I’ll handle it – hopefully it’s not forever!”

“If everyone drove a hybrid we wouldn’t need foreign oil,” said Radnor resident John Fisher.

And Sara Pilling of Bryn Mawr said, “I’m gloating, as I bought a Toyota Prius plug-in, get 125 mpg, yet continue to conserve in my driving!”

Not surprisingly, Pennsylvania’s political candidates are promising to act.

In a recent interview with ABC27, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democratic candidate for governor said, “Energy prices are up this year and will likely keep rising. “I want Pennsylvanians to know that there is help available for everyone and that we are going to do all we can to make sure that these resources remain available to Pennsylvanians over the spring and summer.”

Shapiro proposed elimination of the cell phone tax, expanding real estate and rent tax rebates, and sending gasoline tax rebates to Pennsylvania drivers.

Former U.S. Attorney and Republican candidate for governor, Bill McSwain, agreed the solution is to increase domestic manufacturing, though he blamed the Biden administration for much of our current predicament.

“Sky-rocketing gas prices are a direct result of President Biden’s weak leadership and disastrous energy policies. We should not be dependent on countries that hate us, and it is wrong and immoral for Biden to beg foreign nations to produce more oil rather than increasing production domestically,” McSwain said.

“As governor, I will harness the full potential of Pennsylvania’s energy resgources to eliminate our reliance on foreign oil and create thousands of jobs for hard-working Pennsylvanians. I will also call for a permanent and drastic reduction of the crippling state gas tax put in place by Harrisburg career politicians and supported by many of my opponents in this race.”

Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf has agreed with McSwain that the gas tax should be removed. The question is what should replace it.

Democratic senatorial candidate Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, speaking live from the pump while he was filling his truck said, “People are getting squeezed whether folks want to call it inflation or not…but there is a solution, and it would solve more than gas prices…. We need to use American energy to make American energy cheaper for American workers…We should do more manufacturing right here in America and create more jobs here to drive down prices… It should be common sense that we can lower prices if we make more sh*t in America and here in Pennsylvania. We don’t need to be outsourcing any more jobs to China.”

Republican Senate candidate Dave McCormick blamed the Biden administration.

“The record-high gas prices we’re seeing today have been a year in the making thanks to Joe Biden’s terrible energy policies,” said McCormick. “From killing the Keystone XL pipeline to banning new federal natural gas and oil leases to the regulatory blanket he placed across our energy sector that’s chilled capital investment, Joe Biden has hamstrung American energy production which has invited Putin’s aggression and skyrocketed prices at the pump for all Pennsylvanians.”

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McCormick, Oz Both Bail on Monday’s Senate Debate

The two candidates polling at the front of the pack in Pennsylvania’s Republican U.S. Senate race and blanketing the airwaves with attack ads, are passing on the opportunity to face off in person. Both businessman David McCormick and celebrity TV doctor Mehmet Oz are skipping a much-anticipated debate Monday evening at Villanova University.

Dr. Mehmet Oz

Oz previously told organizers he could not take part in the debate due to a prior commitment. Now McCormick, a hedge fund CEO, is also a no-show.

“Dave is looking forward to debating. Hopefully, Mehmet will confirm a day and time soon,” said Jess Szymanski, a spokeswoman for McCormick.

Meanwhile, Jeff Bartos, a Montgomery County developer, responded to the decisions of McCormick and Oz to skip the debate with a jibe about their recent residencies in the commonwealth.

“Perhaps if this debate was held in Connecticut or New Jersey, Dave McCormick and Mehmet Oz would be inclined to attend and defend their records,” Bartos tweeted. “I’m looking forward to Monday’s debate, and unlike my out-of-state opponents, I will always show up for Pennsylvanians.”

While Oz now rents a house from his in-laws in Bryn Athyn, he also has a house in northern New Jersey and is an attending physician at New York  Presbyterian-Columbia Medical Center. He practiced medicine while appearing on his TV show “Dr. Oz.” Oz spent his college years in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a joint MD and MBA from the Penn School of Medicine and the Wharton Business School.

McCormick had lived in Connecticut for about 12 years, where he was the CEO of Bridgewater Associates, until moving back to the Pittsburgh area. He grew up on a Christmas tree farm in Bloomsburg. He attended West Point and served as an Army paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne in Iraq during the First Gulf War, where he received the Bronze Star.

Jeff Bartos

He worked as a consultant in Pittsburgh, then at a software company, where he rose to president and CEO.

At a previous debate, also sans Oz and McCormick, Bartos quipped, “Being a lifelong Pennsylvanian is a distinguishing characteristic in this campaign for the United States Senate in Pennsylvania.”

Other candidates expected to attend the debate Monday are Kathy Barnette, a Fox News commentator and author, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress against Madeleine Dean in Montgomery County; Philadelphia lawyer George Bochetto; and Everett Stern, an investigator. It was unclear whether Carla Sands, the former ambassador to Denmark for President Donald Trump, would attend.

The debate is expected to be streamed and televised on PNC, which will also host a debate wrap-up afterward.


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McCormick Touts Mission at Campaign Stop in Bensalem

Republican U.S. Senate candidate David McCormick had never thought about running for elected office. Then he saw the Biden administration’s chaotic — and deadly — withdrawal from Afghanistan last year and decided he had to do something.

“Seeing Afghanistan play out just grabbed our attention and just shook us,” said McCormick, who is married to Trump administration national security advisor Dina Powell. “My wife has done a lot of public service, too. She’s an immigrant to this country. We both lived the American Dream. And when we saw that playing out — the humiliation, the embarrassment, and the lack of accountability — it just shook me.

Dave McCormick with supporter Austin Hepburn.

“As a patriot, you ask yourself what can we do? We think this seat is so important to Pennsylvania. It’s so important to the country. As this seat goes, the country likely goes. Pennsylvania needs a strong leader in the Senate, a strong fighter in the Senate,” McCormick added.

McCormick told a group of about 50 at the VFW post in Bensalem on Saturday there are many reasons Washington, D.C. needs to change.

“There are so many aspects of the country that feel like it’s headed in the wrong direction. We have 40-year high inflation, which is the result of these socialist economic policies. And that hurts all of us, but it really hurts working families all across Pennsylvania.”

McCormick, who served as undersecretary of the Treasury for international affairs under President George W. Bush, grew up on a family farm in Bloomsburg. His dad was chancellor at Bloomsburg University and chancellor for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

McCormick graduated from West Point and spent five years in the Army, where he served in the first Gulf War. He recently stepped down from his position as CEO of the hedge fund behemoth Bridgewater Associates.

McCormick has come under fire for his hedge fund’s investments in China, including an attack ad from a Dr. Mehmet Oz SuperPAC. But he noted that only 2 percent of Bridgewater’s investments were in China.

“China is the existential challenge of our time,” said McCormick. “It poses an economic risk. It poses a national security risk. We need a whole nation strategy to deal with it. And we need to reduce our dependence on China.”

Pharmaceuticals come from China and most semiconductors are made in nearby Taiwan. The United States’ investment and trade must not support the Chinese military or the oppression of its minority Uighurs, he said.

“The risk has grown in the last 10 years under (Chinese President) Xi,” he said. “Do you really want your drugs dependent on whether China is having a good day?

Meanwhile, America needs more skilled workers and must find a way for businesses to get capital to compete with Chinese businesses that are subsidized by the state.  More emphasis on technical training would help, he said.

“As military veteran…somebody who’s run businesses, created jobs, someone who’s served at the highest levels of government negotiating with China…That’s the kind of person you need to be able to go and fight in Washington.”

McCormick also discussed inflation, education, Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry, illegal immigration, China, Russia, and Ukraine.

And “the border situation is completely unsustainable,” said McCormick, who recently visited Yuma, Ariz., to see the situation first-hand. A year ago, there were 30 illegal border crossers caught every day at Yuma, he said. Now there are 1,000. The Border Patrol agents’ union has endorsed him.

“The border guards are completely overwhelmed,” he said. “Literally, people are just walking through.”

Deaths from fentanyl brought across the border are increasing, and so are related crimes.

“You all feel it here in Philadelphia and moving into the suburbs,” said McCormick.

On education, McCormick said, “I don’t recognize the history that’s being taught to our kids today, with parents not having adequate involvement. And I don’t recognize the cancel culture where you can’t have the right conversations and disagree. It’s a disaster…The American Dream we lived is not going to be available to our kids five years from now or 10 years from now.”

An audience member asked McCormick about the crisis with Ukraine and Russia.

“The world is more dangerous now than it’s ever been,” said McCormick. “I think Biden invited that with Afghanistan. If you show weakness the bullies will take advantage of it. And that’s what happening with Russia. That’s what I think is happening in China. So we need to project strength. And our military today, I’m worried about it.”

While the U.S. spends $80 billion on defense, “there’s a whole social agenda, ‘wokeness’ that’s taken over our military (instead of its) warfighting focus.”

And China is spending its military budget on next-generation technology while the U.S. is spending “90 percent on old platforms” instead of innovation for the future.

“Ukraine is a terrible mess,” he said, and he would “look hard” at sanctions against Russia if it crosses into Ukraine.

“I don’t think we want to be part of a land war in Ukraine. And if we get too focused on that, we have to look over our shoulder, because I think China will move on Taiwan. If we go into something militarily, it has to be so decisive and conclusive it has to be beyond doubt.”

Asked about natural gas, he said, “We have all this natural gas but we don’t have ways to get it there geographically.” A lot of natural gas is being transported by trucks when pipelines are safer. And Pennsylvania natural gas is being sent by pipelines to Louisiana and Texas rather than having a distribution center or port in Philadelphia.

Dave McCormick with state Sen. Robert “Tommy” Tomlinson.

“Our natural gas is the cleanest of the natural gases,” said McCormick. “And natural gas is cleaner than many other forms of energy…Mathematically, Biden shut down Keystone (pipeline), put the clamps on American gas, which is so much cleaner than Russian gas.

“Russian gas, which is much worse environmentally, is being shipped to Europe and the rest of the world so the greenhouse gases go up, our economic benefit goes down and our security in the world goes down because now we’re dependent on outside energy. It’s a madness that is taking place,” he said.

State Sen. Robert “Tommy” Tomlinson (R-Bucks) said McCormick is “truly a proud American, truly somebody capable of moving this country forward, truly somebody who believes in this country. I’m happy that we’ve got a candidate that I could feel that good about.”

And many in the crowd seemed to agree, leaving with McCormick yard signs and hats.

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Philly Lawyer George Bochetto Joins GOP Race for U.S. Senate

Philadelphia lawyer George Bochetto, who was the Pennsylvania Boxing Commissioner from 1995 to 2002, did not pull any punches against his opponents during a recent interview about his decision to enter the crowded GOP U.S. Senate primary race.

The well-known local attorney is joining a field that includes a celebrity doctor, a former ambassador, a wealthy hedge fund executive, a Montgomery County businessman, and a Fox News commentator—and that’s just on the Republican side. Another large group has also lined up seeking the Democratic nomination.

Bochetto, 69, called Dr. Mehmet Oz “an individual who has gotten rich off selling magic coffee beans to little old ladies on daytime TV.”

Bochetto is putting up $1 million of his own money to launch his campaign. He says he will have enough money to “get my message out.”

“I don’t need to raise $30 million to run a primary campaign,” he said. “And if Oz and (David) McCormick and (Carla) Sands think they can just buy the election, they ought to go talk to Mike Bloomberg.”

Bloomberg, one of the wealthiest men in America, spent millions in a failed bid to win the Democratic presidential primary in 2020.

Bochetto most recently garnered headlines for his defense in court of Philadelphia’s Christopher Columbus statue from those would like to tear it down. He said one reason he is running is to prevent the country from falling to left-wing “woke” mobs.

“I’m all for an Indigenous People’s Day but not canceling Christopher Columbus Day to do it,” said Bochetto. “Why can’t we do both? We have St. Paddy’s Day.”

“I’m running to stand up to these crazy movements that are really tearing down the values and the cultures of our country,” he said.

“The woke mob and the left are truly taking this country on a disastrous course,” said Bochetto. For example, “The murder rates are sky high. We have George Soros-backed DAs who refuse to carry out their oaths of office.”

And since President Joe Biden took office, inflation has gotten out of control.

“Inflation hurts the middle class the most,” he said. “They’re the ones who have to go to the grocery store and buy their food. They’re the ones who have to pay for their own fuel at the filling station. They’re the ones who have to do their own home repairs and pay for them. And the skyrocketing inflation hurts them the most.”

“If we can get a Republican-controlled Senate we can start passing sensible legislation as a group,” he said. “We can start rejecting all these inflationary spending policies that the Biden administration and the Democrats are currently engaged in. Their solution to how to pay for $3.5 trillion in giveaways is to just print more money. Printing more money is highly inflationary. Paying people to stay home instead of working is highly counterproductive, highly inflationary. These are policies that must be rejected,” Bochetto said.

“And we’re only going to reject them if we elect people like myself to go to Washington and take control of the situation and make sure our fundamental values and our fundamental principles of American government are implemented.”

Asked about foreign policy, Bochetto said, “China absolutely represents the greatest existential threat to the United States. And we cannot be electing anybody to the Senate from Pennsylvania who is business partner with the Chinese Communist Party,” (a swipe at McCormick, who has been CEO of Bridgewater Associates, which has investments in Chinese businesses).

Temple University Professor Robin Kolodny, who chairs the political science department, said the large field of candidates with no decisive frontrunner tends to draw more people into the fray.

“As of now, our window for candidates to file petitions to get on the ballot (2,000 signatures) opens on February 15 and closes March 8,” she said. “It is one thing to put out a press release saying you are running.  It is another thing to have all the paperwork in by March 8. Candidates who do not win a major party nomination will still be able to petition to get on the ballot for November as an independent.”

A December poll found Oz 10 points ahead of Fox News commentator Kathy Barnette, who was in second place. However, that poll, by the Trafalgar Group, showed nearly 51 percent of Republican primary voters were undecided.

Kolodny pointed out the last time Republican voters nominated a celebrity it did not end well in the general election. That was in 2006, when Ed Rendell beat Pittsburgh Steelers football legend Lynn Swan and was re-elected governor, with 60 percent of the vote to Swan’s 40 percent.

“Here’s the issue with non-political celebrities: Are those who know them also consistent voters?  It turned out not to be that way for Lynn Swann who invested heavily in advertising on ESPN,” said Kolodny.

Local lawyer and pundit Christine Flowers praised Bochetto.

“Having grown up in the Philadelphia legal community and surrounded, as a child, by legendary lawyers (including my own father Ted Flowers), I have an instinctual sense of what greatness in the profession means,” Flowers said. “To me, there are very few living Philadelphia attorneys who are worthy of the title ‘Philadelphia Lawyer’ in the tradition of Andrew Hamilton, but I have no hesitation in saying that George Bochetto is one of them.

“He took on the City of Philadelphia with its bigoted crusade to silence the Italian American community and rob us of our history, in Columbus,” said Flowers. “He took on all of those who believe that certain cultures and communities can be silenced, at a time when silencing is a popular tactic. And he has been extremely successful. George Bochetto is everything a Philadelphia lawyer should be, and once was.”


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