A day after telling PoliticsPA he would not renounce his dual citizenship with Turkey and setting off a political firestorm, Mehmet Oz reversed course and told Fox News that he will do so if he is elected to the United States Senate.
The celebrity doctor, who is legally permitted to serve in Congress as a dual citizen, had indicated that he would keep his dual U.S. and Turkish citizenship and positively answered a question about foregoing security clearances should he be required.
Oz has maintained that he keeps his Turkish citizenship to provide care for his ailing mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease.
“My dual citizenship has become a distraction in this campaign,” Oz told Fox News Wednesday. “I maintained it to care for my ailing mother, but after several weeks of discussions with my family, I’m committing that before I am sworn in as the next U.S. Senator for Pennsylvania I will only be a U.S. citizen.”
The issue has become a thorny topic on the campaign trail between Oz and David McCormick, former Bridgewater Associates hedge fund CEO.
McCormick called for Oz to renounce his dual citizenship.
“Do it now. Voters can’t trust Mehmet Oz,” McCormick said in comments Wednesday to Fox News. “He has lied about his position on abortion, the 2nd Amendment, immigration, masks, and Fauci to name a few. Renounce your Turkish citizenship now. We won’t be fooled again.”
“How can he claim to be America First when he has dual loyalties?” McCormick spokesperson Jess Szymanski asked.
“The bigoted attacks my opponent Dave McCormick has made against me as the child of immigrants are reminiscent of slurs made in the past about Catholics and Jews,” Oz told Fox News. “It is a sign of McCormick’s desperate campaign that he has resorted to this disgraceful tactic.”
Oz added: “It is completely disqualifying behavior for anyone aiming to serve in the United States Senate.”