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Possible 2024 GOP Senate candidate wants to 'break the back' of public schools

After losing the Pennsylvania Republican Senate nomination to Mehmet Oz in 2022, Dave McCormick is predicted to challenge Sen. Bob Casey in 2024.

By Josh Israel - March 17, 2023
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Republican candidate for Pennsylvania U.S. Senate Dave McCormick talks to supporters during his returns watch party in the Pennsylvania primary election May 17, 2022, in Pittsburgh.
FILE - Republican candidate for Pennsylvania U.S. Senate Dave McCormick talks to supporters during his returns watch party in the Pennsylvania primary election May 17, 2022, in Pittsburgh. The hedge fund CEO narrowly lost Pennsylvania's 2022 Republican Senate primary to Dr. Mehmet Oz. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

Multimillionaire and potential 2024 Republican Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dave McCormick said on Monday that public schools are insufficiently pro-America and accused educators of not acting in students’ best interests.

McCormick, who lost the 2022 Republican Senate primary to Mehmet Oz, made the comments during an appearance on the Rich Zeoli Show on Philadelphia talk radio station 1210 WPHT, first flagged by the progressive research group American Bridge 21st Century, after he was asked about “wokeness” in America’s education system.

He replied:

Our schools are failing, in terms of teaching our kids the ability to compete on a global stage. But more than that, they’re teaching them that America is not exceptional. If you look at the history that’s being taught, and the key to preserving America is that our children believe it’s exceptional and they fight to keep it that way. And so that’s my biggest issue. And this all became clear during COVID, because all of a sudden, parents could see that the history that was being taught, the sexualization that was happening, particularly in our elementary schools, they could see that teachers were making decisions that were not in the best interests of their children. And that’s why we’ve got to break the back of our teachers’ unions and our public school system and give kids choice and get parents more involved. And if there was ever a case for that, we’ve seen it recently.

After the discussion about education, Zeoli asked McCormick if he would mount a 2024 Senate campaign. McCormick answered that he had only narrowly lost to Oz in the 2022 Republican primary and said: “I’m looking for a way to serve, to try to help renew America. … I’m certainly thinking about the Senate race.”

NBC News reported on Monday that some Republican leaders are encouraging McCormick, who is promoting a new book, to run for Democratic Sen. Bob Casey’s seat. According to NBC, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Steve Daines said that McCormick “would be a candidate that I think unites Republicans in Pennsylvania and he’d be a very strong candidate in the primary and the general.”

During his unsuccessful 2022 campaign, McCormick’s website issues page said he wanted to end COVID-19 safety restrictions in schools: “He believes the government should never impose vaccine mandates on citizens and children belong in school. Parents should be deciding what is best for their children, not teachers’ unions and special interests.”

It also stated: “The extreme left is attacking American history, culture, and values. As someone who has served the country in combat and lived the American Dream, Dave believes America is exceptional. He will stand up against the wokeness taking over our schools, big businesses, and the media, and he will fight to ensure every child can live the American Dream too.”

“American families must have a say in their children’s education,” McCormick tweeted in February 2022. “It’s time to get politics out of the classroom and stop the Far Left from pushing their progressive agenda on our children.”

During the 2022 campaign, critics repeatedly questioned McCormick’s honesty and integrity.

McCormick falsely claimed over and over to be an “Army ranger” despite not having earned the title.

He initially said that former President Donald Trump had “some responsibility, a lot of responsibility” for the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection by his followers, but then flip-flopped on the issue, saying in April 2022, “I don’t think we should hold President Trump accountable for January 6th.”

He also said his businesses had never outsourced jobs; but in 2005, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review had reported that he’d claimed his experience helping companies do so would be an asset to his new role in the George W. Bush Department of Commerce.

After defeating the Connecticut-based hedge fund CEO McCormick by less than 1,000 votes, the longtime New Jerseyan Oz spent much of his 2022 general election race pushing to divert public education funds to religious education. Oz touted the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s parochial school system and suggested a government stipend for parents to send kids there.

Oz lost to Democrat John Fetterman 51.2%-46.3%.

Casey has not yet announced whether he will seek reelection in 2024.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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