Oz asserts that he agrees with Biden on marijuana pardons but disagrees with federal mandated minimum prison terms.


PHILADELPHIA Mehmet Oz, the Republican candidate for the Pennsylvania Senate, said Thursday in an exclusive interview with NBC News that he opposes federal mandatory minimum prison penalties and believes President Joe Biden made the right decision by declaring a sweeping pardon for some marijuana users.

In the closing days of the contest, Oz, who is down in the public opinion polls, has regularly blasted Democratic opponent John Fetterman for being too lenient on crime. The words constitute a tiny shift to the middle.

A rare area of agreement between Biden and Fetterman, Oz said he supported Biden’s decision to expunge the records of ex-offenders who were detained by the federal government only on suspicion of possessing a small amount of marijuana.

It’s not a good idea for the nation to send marijuana offenders to prison. Oz praised Biden for making a sane decision, saying that those who have used marijuana and that is the main reason they are in jail shouldn’t have those illegal decisions held against them.

Just a few days prior, in an exclusive interview with NBC News, Fetterman expressed support for using federal mandatory minimum jail penalties in other cases involving fentanyl dealers. He also stated that he is generally opposed to them.

I firmly believe that judges should have the authority to make the difficult choices since they typically do so well, according to Oz. By enacting legislation at the federal level, we restrict their ability to carry out the necessary tasks.

In a lengthy conversation that touched on racial injustice, abortion, criminal justice, and Fetterman’s recovery from a stroke in May, Oz emphasized that his support for the Black Lives Matter movement is not implied by his campaign literature calling for justice for George Floyd.

He referred to BLM, which staged racial justice demonstrations around the nation after Minneapolis police killed Floyd in May 2020, as “a hijacked effort to address some of the serious problems we have with race in America.” The Black Lives movement, in my opinion, failed to do credit to the actual fight we face.

Oz, a newbie to politics and best known for his work as a TV doctor, stated that he aims to lessen the health outcomes gaps between Black and White patients, especially in the area of infant mortality.

As a clinician and on the show, I have done a lot of work in these areas. We began #moreblackdoctors because there are certain glaring issues with how Black people are treated in the medical field, he claimed. If we want to address racial concerns, we need more Black doctors who have a sense of belonging in the medical community and who encourage more Black people to enroll in medical programs.

To win, Oz will need to target areas where voters don’t typically support the GOP. He has already undertaken attempts to hurt Fettermans and advance his reputation in Pennsylvania’s Black neighborhoods. When Fetterman was the mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, in 2013, the event occurred in which he detained an unarmed Black jogging while brandishing a gun. The state’s lieutenant governor, Fetterman, has admitted that he erred.

In a sizable poll, Fetterman has never been in the rear, but recent polls indicate that the gap has narrowed to within statistically acceptable error limits. On Thursday afternoon, the average of the compiled by RealClearPolitics surveys indicated a 3.7 percentage-point lead for Fetterman, 46% to 42.3%.

Longtime New Jersey resident Oz has been painted by Fetterman as a carpetbagger who has changed his stance on various issues since he won the divisive GOP primary with the support of former President Donald Trump. In 2016, Trump took Pennsylvania, but he lost it in 2020.

In terms of economics and public safety, Fetterman has been criticized by Oz and other Republicans as being too liberal. Additionally, they claim that he misled Pennsylvania voters about his health. In order to monitor and control his heartbeat, Fetterman had a pacemaker with a defibrillator inserted after suffering a stroke in May, right before he won the Democratic primary.

Following the stroke, Fetterman has had to cope with auditory processing impairments that necessitate the use of closed captioning in interviews. He also claims that occasionally he struggles to find the proper word.

Democrats have slammed Oz for making health jokes throughout the campaign. An Oz assistant said in August that Fetterman wouldn’t have had a stroke if he had ever eaten a vegetable. Another scathing remark made by Oz’s team was that they would pay for any additional medical personnel Fetterman would require during a discussion and would allow him to raise his hand and declare a toilet break whenever he needed one.

Oz hasn’t expressed regret to Fetterman.

Both teams have had a challenging season, Oz said on Thursday. I took ownership of my actions, and now I handle problems as they arise. He has his own problems, though. I believe we should once more face each other and declare, “Here is what we’re going to do moving ahead.” We need to have discussed this earlier.

Oz, though, argued that he had a great deal of sympathy for Fetterman and thinks it was brave of him to conduct a face-to-face interview with NBC News last week. He added that Fetterman’s refusal to release his medical information is the basis of their disagreement.

I believe that people with disabilities can and should serve in the military. Oz said, “I would never hold that against somebody. My concern is that Pennsylvania’s voters deserve candor.

He claimed that while he watched Fetterman’s appearance with NBC News, he had the impression that although he presumably wanted to reveal his records, he didn’t. Why not then?

Fetterman claimed in the interview that he is not aware of any undisclosed symptoms and argued that he has been open with the public about his health and recovery, including the auditory processing challenges, when asked why he declined requests to share his medical records and make his doctors available for interviews.

NBC News requested that Oz take questions for the same amount of time as Fetterman did because both campaigns have been attacking one another over transparency; however, Oz’s team declined. The interview with Oz was cut short after 17 minutes due to time constraints; Fetterman had given him 33 minutes.

After weeks of difficult public discussions, the two contenders will finally face off on a debate platform on October 25. At least one debate is held during most closely contested Senate races, and Oz had pushed for more than the one that is now scheduled.

Oz repeated his opposition to abortion, saying it should only be done in circumstances of rape, incest, or danger to the woman’s life. He would not specifically state whether he agreed with Sen. Lindsey Graham’s proposal to outlaw most abortions after 15 weeks, but he made it clear that he did not.

He declared that his position was larger than the issue of Graham’s bill, saying that he did not want any federal regulations to restrict what states can do with abortion. The states ought to decide this.

When asked about abortion in 2019, Oz responded that he didn’t want to interfere with other people’s affairs, but more recently, he has referred to it as murder.

I’ve been pro-life forever, he told NBC News. You cite the interview where I declared my pro-life stance.

Although Oz has focused much of his campaign on criticizing Fetterman on crime, he hasn’t really presented any concrete policy alternatives of his own. He advocated for federal school choice subsidies as a solution, saying that Congress should utilize its subpoena powers to pressure local governments for information on crime. Additionally, he claimed that Philadelphia needs a liquid natural gas plant and that expanding drilling in Pennsylvania will lead to employment growth, energy exports, and a reduction in inflation.

He denied the link between Trump’s First Step Act, which allowed nonviolent inmates to be released early, and Fetterman’s efforts to secure clemency for violent offenders in Pennsylvania.

Being released from prison is a completely other ballgame, especially if you were given a life sentence, he claimed.