Former President Donald Trump gave some veteran advice to Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz in a series of Truth Social posts on Wednesday night. He told him to declare himself the winner of the state’s Republican primary.
“Dr. Oz should declare victory,” Trump wrote in a post. Then he proceeded to deride the waves of mail-in ballots that had cost him the Pennsylvania election in 2020.
“It makes it much harder for them to cheat with the ballots that they ‘just happened to find,'” Trump said.
CNN, ever seeking to rekindle the lost ratings from the Trump era, had NY Times writer Maggie Haberman on to scold the former president. Watch:
“It’s, I think, something we’ve seen before, right?” Haberman said. “It’s something we saw Donald Trump do with his own victory, and he is now trying to duplicate that. I don’t think he would be doing that if he felt entirely confident that Oz was going to win at the end of the day when these ballots are all counted. But what he is doing is muddying the waters.”
“And there are huger implications here, because Republicans are trying — trying to retake the Senate,” she added. “It is going to be much harder if Donald Trump is casting doubt on Dave McCormick the way he’s clearly prepared to do.”
“Dave McCormick, I think, you know, has taken a lot of lumps from Donald Trump, so I’m not really surprised that he’s not saying something until he knows where this is headed,” she continued. “In Oz’s case, we know that Donald Trump, when he did a rally for him, said he agrees with me about 2020.”
“Dave McCormick did not — or, you know, that Dave McCormick doesn’t agree with me, and the implication was Oz does,” she went on. “I’m not at all surprised to see how this is playing out.”
“But, again, this is really dangerous what Donald Trump is saying, and it should not be minimized,” Haberman added. “This isn’t just him complaining that he lost an election. You know, all of the things that got said after November 3, 2020 — Donald Trump has to cool off, this is hard for him, et cetera, et cetera — all of the rationalizations that ended up snowballing into something more. Now he’s willing to say this about other people’s elections, and we are heading down a different path.”
According to Decision Desk HQ, the Trump-endorsed Dr. Oz leads Dave McCormick by just 0.2% — a vote margin of just 2,567 votes — with an estimated 94% of expected votes counted.
As reported earlier, the Pennsylvania primaries have been thrown into disarray after an election “glitch” caused an issue for thousands of mail-in ballots.
“An error by a company that prints ballots for several Pennsylvania counties made thousands of mail-in ballots unreadable Tuesday as voters were deciding hotly contested primaries for governor and U.S. Senate in one of the nation’s most important battleground states,” PBS reported.
“Officials in Lancaster County, the state’s sixth most populous, said the problem involved at least 21,000 mailed ballots, only a third of which were scanning properly,” the report stated. “The glitch will force election workers to redo ballots that can’t be read by the machine, a laborious process expected to take several days. Officials in the GOP-controlled county pledged that all the ballots will be counted eventually.”
“Citizens deserve to have accurate results from elections and they deserve to have them on election night, not days later,” Josh Parsons, a Republican and vice chair of the county board of commissioners, said at a news conference. “But because of this, we’re not going to have final election results from these mail ballots for probably several days, so that is very, very frustrating to us.”
“The Lancaster Board of Elections, of which Parsons is a member, renewed its criticism of a 2019 state voting law that expanded mail-in balloting but prevented counties from opening mailed ballots before Election Day to check for errors,” the report continued.
“The board said the law, which passed the legislature with bipartisan support, also forces counties to use vendors to print ballots rather than doing them in house,” it noted.
“Act 77 is untenable for us as counties to continue to work in elections and not have problems like this,” said Ray D’Agostino, chairman of the Lancaster board.
The New York Times had another excuse for the delays, however: Election laws.
“With two large fields in close Republican primaries for Senate and governor, a tight Democratic Senate race and more than 910,000 applications for mail-in and absentee ballots requested, election officials in the state anticipate that it could take a while before definitive results are tallied,” the NY Times reported.
“A main cause is in Pennsylvania’s election code: Election officials are not allowed to begin opening and processing mail-in and absentee ballots before 7 a.m. on Election Day. This provision was one of the chief causes of delays during the 2020 presidential election.
Election officials have begged lawmakers to change the law to give them more time to process absentee ballots. Democrats who have tried to do so have been blocked by Republicans, who control the legislature.
“We know that voters want results on primary election night,” said Ellen Lyon, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania secretary of state’s office. “We will have unofficial results within a few days. Given the possibility of recounts and the need for official certifications, it is unlikely that final results in all races will be available on election night.”
Josh Shapiro, the attorney general of Pennsylvania, won the Democratic nomination for governor.
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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.