Senate

McCormick Faces Increasing Questions On China, Outsourcing

Despite campaign rhetoric, McCormick previously slammed “Buy American” provisions and bragged about outsourcing record

The disaster that is Pennsylvania’s GOP U.S. Senate primary is getting very expensive for Republicans, as Mehmet Oz and David McCormick — and their respective Super PACs — spend tens of millions of dollars attacking each other, including over their business ties to China. 

Today, a new report from the Philadelphia Inquirer highlights significant contradictions between McCormick’s campaign rhetoric and his record as a member of the George W. Bush administration and the CEO of the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, where he helped to raise over a billion dollars for a fund in China.

Among other things, the report notes that, even as McCormick now claims to advocate a posture of putting American workers and manufacturers first, he has previously railed against so-called “Buy American” rules to ensure that U.S. government spending supports American workers and manufacturers, instead “urg[ing] a “devotion to free market principles” at the expense of those workers.

McCormick’s campaign has similarly been dogged by accusations of outsourcing — a track record that McCormick highlighted and bragged about in 2005 when he was joining the George W. Bush administration. McCormick has so far refused to provide a full accounting for his record of outsourcing jobs.

While cozying up to China may have helped McCormick financially, “those past statements, combined with his hedge fund’s investment, now represent perhaps his greatest political liability,” according to the Inquirer. That’s because McCormick’s primary opponents have already used that “vulnerability” as their “main line of attack […] played out in millions of dollars of TV ads.” 

One of McCormick’s most vocal critics is his fellow carpet-bagging candidate, New Jersey’s Mehmet Oz, who already has attack ads up on air calling McCormick “China’s friend, not ours.”

At the same time, McCormick’s campaign “has tried to throw that narrative back at Oz.” Just last week McCormick’s super PAC, which is bankrolled by fellow hedge funders like the billionaire Ken Griffinannounced a $12 million TV ad buy over the next six weeks targeting the celebrity doctor

Oz — who is attempting to run as a China hawk — for years had lucrative deals to promote products in China. Moreover, his “Good Life” branded goods sold products made overseas, including in China. 

The ongoing fight between Oz and McCormick has set the commonwealth’s GOP Senate primary on track to be one of the most expensive and brutally negative anywhere in the country — and with no endorsement at last weekend’s state GOP meeting, it’s clear things are only going to get nastier ahead of May’s primary.

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