Donald Trump uses his endorsements of candidates to hold power within the GOP. But sometimes the candidates use Trump’s endorsement to win primaries, only to distance themselves from the former president in general elections. The latest candidate to do so is Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate Mehmet Oz.
Here is Andrew Solender at Axios:
The backdrop: Trump was a heavy staple of Oz’s primary campaign, showing up frequently in his ads run even before the former president endorsed him in mid-April.
- After the endorsement, Trump was a near-ubiquitous fixture in Oz’s spots — even a series of six-second issue ads on guns, abortion and energy began with “endorsed by President Trump.”
- Oz’s Twitter account mentioned Trump more than 70 times between the endorsement on April 9 and primary day, May 17.
- On Google and Facebook, Oz’s campaign bought a barrage of Trump-focused ads during the primary.
- Both his Facebook and Twitter accounts were emblazoned during the primary with a cover photo of Trump and Oz with the words “endorsed by Trump,” and his website had a pop-up to let visitors know he was “Trump-endorsed.”
State of play: The ad Oz’s campaign ran after winning the Republican nomination didn’t mention or include footage of Trump — a stark departure from the tone of his primary ads.
- Oz’s social media banners now say “Thank you, Pennsylvania,” and feature a solo photo of him without Trump. His website no longer has a pop-up fundraiser appeal touting his Trump endorsement.
- Oz’s Twitter bio no longer advertises him as the “Trump Endorsed Candidate for U.S. Senate,” and he hasn’t tweeted about Trump since May 17.
- Oz’s campaign hasn’t run Facebook ads since the primary, and on Google his only general election ad reads, “The PA Senate Race will determine who has the majority. Donate to take back the US Senate!”
- Even on the Trump-run social media site Truth Social, Oz hasn’t posted about Trump since the primary — though he still touts his Trump endorsement in his bio.
Read the entire piece here.