After suffering a stroke in May, Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman said he would debate his Republican opponent, but did not say when or where – and mentioned that he would try to find an accommodation for his speech and hearing difficulties.
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In a statement to Politico, the Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor acknowledged that he had always had plans to debate Oz. He added” We’re absolutely going to debate Dr. Oz, and that was really always our intent to do that. It was just simply only ever been about addressing some of the lingering issues of my stroke, the auditory processing, and we’re going to be able to work that out.”
Yet Fetterman’s remarks to Politico were unlikely to stop Republican Mehmet Oz’s constant cajoling of Fetterman over the past weeks. Oz, a celebrity physician, has made increasingly pointed attacks on Fetterman’s physical fitness. Brittany Yanick, Oz’s spokeswoman said, “Let’s be clear — Dr. Oz’s campaign won’t agree to a secret debate. It has to be a real one with real journalists asking real questions. Imaginary debates don’t count!”
Recently, Fetterman, lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, rejected an invitation to appear at a televised debate in Pittsburgh. However, Fetterman on Wednesday suggested the debate would occur “mid-to late October,” though he would not specify a date or place. “We are still finalizing the details,” he claimed according to Bloomberg and CNBC.
The runoff between Oz and Fetterman is to fill the seat of retiring Republican Senator Pat Toomey. The result of the race may ultimately determine which party will control the Senate.
As Democrats defend their slim majority in the chamber this fall, Pennsylvania’s Senate seat is a great opportunity for them. In 2016, the state narrowly voted for Donald Trump and four years later, they narrowly voted for Joe Biden. It means the vote may be a tight race.
In a recent statement, John Fetterman declared, “There is literally zero precedent in modern times for having U.S. Senate debates in Pennsylvania in early September.” He added, “This whole thing has been about Dr. Oz and his team mocking me for having a stroke because they’ve got nothing else.”
Former Republican senator Pat Toomey, along with Oz, held a joint press conference to accuse Fetterman of lying about his state of health or avoiding debate questions. “He’s either not as well as he claims to be, or he’s afraid to be called out for the radical policies he supports,” Toomey said. “It’s one or the other.”
Fetterman’s campaign has emphasized that he is making a full recovery but is partially paralyzed by what they described as “auditory processing” problems, which have the potential to complicate his ability to hear and speak. That problem, Fetterman and his staff say, will be fixed over time.
Rebecca Katz, a lead advisor to Fetterman, has charged the Oz campaign with “deliberately conflating two separate things — John’s health and this last lingering effect of the stroke.”
Editor’s commentary: After reading more about Fetterman wanting felony murderers out of prison, it would be a terrible mistake for anyone to vote Democrat in PA. Philadelphia has been run by Democrats for decades and it’s constantly getting worse with crime. At some point the voters need to wake up and realize Democrats don’t care about them, they only care about having their job and they will say anything to get votes – then do NOTHING for years to improve the city.