Over the last few weeks, the Fetterman and Oz campaigns have been locked in an online tit for tat as the midterm election cycle continues to heat up in Pennsylvania. The Oz campaign has repeatedly slammed “radical liberal” John Fetterman over Twitter for his 2016 Bernie Sanders endorsement and “crazier than you think” policy platform. But rather than distancing Fetterman from the criticism, his campaign has embraced the attacks as content inspiration.
The standoff burst into full view on Wednesday when Dr. Mehmet Oz posted a photoshopped image of Sanders and Fetterman styled as a 1980s department store glamour shot, taken from the film Step Brothers. The Fetterman campaign replied with an image reading, “graphic design is my passion,” mocking the meme’s crummy editing job.
Joe Calvello, the Fetterman campaign’s director of communications, said the approach is largely inspired by their opponent’s social presence. “A lot of the time, [Oz] is just asking for it,” he told The Verge on Wednesday. “I don’t know why he does bad posts.”
Invoking the infamous graphic design meme was just the Fetterman campaign’s latest troll targeting Dr. Oz. Last week, the campaign enlisted “Jersey Shore” star Nicole Polizzi, better known as “Snooki,” to scold Oz over his alleged New Jersey residency. “I heard that you moved from New Jersey to Pennsylvania to look for a new job,” Snooki said in the video. “Personally, I don’t know why anybody would wanna leave New Jersey, ’cause it’s like the best place ever, and we’re all hot messes.”
There are nearly four more months until Pennsylvania voters decide who to send Washington. But for now, “We let the people decide the ratio,” Calvello said.