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Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher March 29, 2022

Dr. Oz claimed that GOP Senate rival McCormick ‘bragged’ about offshoring jobs. That lacks evidence

If Your Time is short

  • A Pennsylvania firm once run by U.S. Senate candidate Dave McCormick cut 50 jobs in 2003. That same year, the company announced plans to open a center in India.

  • But there’s no proof that McCormick “bragged” about offshoring the jobs.

The race for the GOP nomination for an open U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania has been marked by attacks exchanged between two of the leading Republicans, Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dave McCormick.

Ads from Oz, the physician and talk show host, have targeted the business record of McCormick, who is the former chief executive of the Bridgewater Associates hedge fund.

One Oz TV ad begins with the narrator saying: "David McCormick fired Pennsylvanians and bragged about shipping their jobs to Asia."

At the same time, text on the screen says, "bragged about ‘helping companies to move work offshore’" and cites as its source an Oct. 12, 2005 Tribune Review article.

The ad portrays McCormick as a Wall Street insider who "will sell us out." It includes a clip of Oz speaking at his own campaign event, saying that he, like former President Donald Trump, "came from outside politics." 

Similar claims about McCormick and outsourced jobs have also been featured in TV ads launched by the Oz campaign and by a super PAC supporting Oz.

Oz’s campaign did not respond to our requests for information to back up the claim. The article cited in the ad does not prove Oz’s claim.

The ad’s Tribune Review reference

In 2003, a former Pittsburgh-based software company named FreeMarkets cut 50 Pittsburgh jobs, according to local news reports. McCormick was the company’s CEO at the time. 

A few weeks after the cuts, a local news report said McCormick announced that the company would open a facility in India employing more than 100 people. A company spokesperson said, according to the article, that the new center would not affect the employment at the Pittsburgh headquarters, which had about 650 people after the 50 layoffs. 

A McCormick campaign spokesperson told PolitiFact: "Any jobs created in India or outside of the U.S. were completely separate of any decisions and organizational job layoffs in Pittsburgh."

In the 2005 article cited in Oz’s ad, McCormick is not quoted about the company or the layoffs. 

That article was about McCormick’s appointment to a top Commerce Department post in President George W. Bush’s administration. The article made one reference to offshoring. 

"McCormick said his experience as a corporate CEO helping companies to move work offshore, and as a platoon leader in the Army during the first Gulf War, will serve him well in his new post," the article said.

McCormick was the under secretary for export administration and headed the department’s Bureau of Industry and Security, which worked to advance U.S. national security, foreign policy and economic interests, according to a White House statement at the time.

Pennsylvania race could help decide Senate control

The Pennsylvania race is for the seat held by Republican Pat Toomey, who was first elected in 2010 and decided not to seek re-election. 

The other major GOP candidates include conservative commentator Kathy Barnette, real estate developer Jeff Bartos and Carla Sands, who served as President Donald Trump's ambassador to Denmark. The major Democratic candidates include Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb. The primaries are May 17.

Overall, the Nov. 8 general election race is rated as a toss-up and as "tilts Republican." The outcome could help determine which party controls the Senate, now split 50-50.

Our ruling

An Oz campaign ad said McCormick "fired Pennsylvanians and bragged about shipping their jobs to Asia."

In 2003, McCormick was the CEO of a Pittsburgh company that cut 50 jobs. That same year, the company announced plans to open a center in India.

In a 2005 news article cited by Oz’s ad, McCormick does not mention the company or the job cuts. The article paraphrased him as saying that his work in "helping companies to move work offshore" and his military leadership service would help him in a new position with the U.S. Commerce Department.

Oz’s ad contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression. We rate it Mostly False.

Our Sources

YouTube, Mehmet Oz "Washington Won't Change Until We Stand Up and Fight" ad, March 17, 2022

YouTube, Mehmet Oz "The Real McCormick: Outsourcing Our Jobs, Defending China" ad, Feb. 16, 2022

Email, Dave McCormick campaign spokesperson Jess Syzmanski, March 28, 2022

AdImpact.com, American Leadership Action "Selling Us Out" ad, accessed March 27, 2022

WGAL-TV, "Ad Watch: Fact-checking ad attacking Republican US Senate candidate Dave McCormick," March 21, 2022

PASenateFacts.com, "Read More," accessed March 27, 2022

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "FreeMarkets layoffs," Jan. 16, 2004

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "FreeMarkets to operate in India," Feb. 12, 2003

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "City native begins service in export post," Oct. 12, 2005

The American Independent, "GOP Senate candidate denies outsourcing jobs despite bragging about it previously," Jan. 31, 2022

LinkedIn, David McCormick profile, accessed March 27, 2022

WESA.FM, "David McCormick’s record on job creation may give false impression to Pennsylvania voters," published March 7, 2022; updated March 8, 2022 

New York Post, "Pa. Senate GOP primary fight over ‘savior’ candidate’s business record," Nov. 22, 2021

The White House, statement, accessed March 28, 2022

FactCheck.org, "Ads Attacking Dave McCormick," March 17, 2022

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Dr. Oz claimed that GOP Senate rival McCormick ‘bragged’ about offshoring jobs. That lacks evidence

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