Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Republican candidate running for U.S. Senate against Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, declined to answer a question about whether he would back U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for majority leader in the Senate.
McConnell, who has served in the Senate for more than three decades, has previously occupied the role of Senate majority leader and is currently the Senate minority leader. If Republicans succeed in their bid to regain control of the Senate during the 2022 midterms, McConnell could end up landing the majority leader role once again.
When asked about whether he would back McConnell as leader, Oz responded to the question by saying that he looks forward to serving in the Senate and making a choice about the chamber’s next leader, adding that the leader will be a Republican.
“But you can’t make it tonight?” Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier pressed.
“Not gonna make it tonight,” Oz replied.
Currently, the chamber is evenly split with 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats, and two independent lawmakers who caucus with the Democrats — Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote gives Democrats the majority.
Former President Donald Trump, who endorsed Oz during Pennsylvania’s GOP primary, has been an outspoken critic of McConnell. Even with Trump’s endorsement, Oz just narrowly secured victory in the primary contest.
“Mitch McConnell is not an Opposition Leader, he is a pawn for the Democrats to get whatever they want. He is afraid of them, and will not do what has to be done. A new Republican Leader in the Senate should be picked immediately!” Trump declared in a statement last month.
McConnell told reporters last month that he believes “Oz has a great shot at winning,” according to The Hill.
McConnell has served in the Senate since 1985 — his current term is slated to end in early 2027.