Fetterman pushes through argument with Oz after stroke

Photo illustration by Luis Rendon/Getty

Photo illustration by Luis Rendon/Getty

ERIE, Pa. — In the much-anticipated debate against Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz, Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman was asked to correct two conflicting statements.

“Well, I support fracking, but I don’t support fracking – I don’t – I support fracking.

As he tried and failed to reconcile his two conflicting feelings, the largely hilarious and criticizing Oz debate fell silent.

Several viewers frowned and clenched their teeth to face each other. The one behind me even groaned.

It clearly wasn’t the kind of answer, or overall debate performance, that a room full of Fetterman supporters had hoped for. It seemed to capture his difficulty fighting the attack of Oz on Tuesday night, manipulating sex and auditory processing issues with closed captioning.

Fetterman trolls Oz about his dark past…as a New York Yankees fan

Fetterman kicked off Tuesday night’s debate (the only one in the Pennsylvania Senate election), warning viewers that it would be difficult to answer questions smoothly.

“You may miss a few words in this debate,” Fetterman said, repeating words that became his mantra when he recovered from a stroke in May.

That caveat was well heeded, as Fetterman’s deliberate and sometimes confused answers struggled to keep up with the ticking clock that determined the length of his and Oz’s responses.

The way Fetterman paused was in stark contrast to the speed at which Oz competed for answers, sometimes approaching the pace of the auctioneer.

Some answers were more natural to Fetterman, such as raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. Democratic hopefuls were also asked by Ellie’s mob of about 20 Fetterman supporters for his responses on health care and his “10 huge mansionsThe crowd muttered “bullshit” from time to time and kept silent in the turn Oz spoke.

“Let’s rally our troops,” Erie County Democratic Party chairman Jim Wertz told the group ahead of the debate.

Jon Fetterman releases long-awaited update on post-stroke health

But Fetterman’s speaking problem was clearly present throughout the debate, especially during the fracking question.

Still, Oz’s debate performance wasn’t perfect either.

At one point, he was specifically asked if he supported Senator Lindsay Graham’s 15-week nationwide abortion ban. Oz said he would leave abortion decisions up to the states, suggesting he would likely vote against it, but he never actually said so. The Erie crowd complained, and one onlooker shouted “Yes or no!”

One of the moderators asked for clarification on this question, but instead of stating his position, Oz simply said he had three answers to the question.

Questions about whether the show misled viewers about a particular benefit unproven treatment It also seemed to throw an Oz as he seemed to admit that some of his Television Doctor advice wasn’t always sound.

“That was a TV show, just like this is a TV show,” said Oz.

For weeks, Fetterman’s campaign has tried to stifle hopes for the only debate in the hotly contested Senate elections scheduled before November’s election.

their development NBC News interview, during which Fetterman used closed captioning to communicate with reporters. He said the system helped him understand questions more quickly, as he still struggles with auditory processing after having a stroke in May.

After that, the Fetterman campaign his health updatethe candidate’s doctor said, “He is recovering well from his stroke and his health continues to improve,” despite lingering auditory processing problems.

Fetterman’s need for closed captioning for debate became a topic of conversation for Republicans and part of the lieutenant governor’s strategy to lower expectations for the big night.

Finally, on Monday, the day before the debate, Fetterman’s campaign sent reporters a note claiming Oz had “huge built-in advantages” from his decades as a TV celebrity. rice field.

“Let’s admit it. This is not John’s format,” the campaign said in a note to reporters. “Watch the primary debate earlier this year.”

Fetterman Grabs ‘Wegner’ Gaffe When Oz Campaign Mocks His Health

In April, Fetterman delivered a largely flat performance in a televised debate against Rep. Connor Lamb (D-PA) and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta.

The Fetterman campaign was also recently released Ads where candidates deal with strokelinked his recovery to access to health care and family leave.

“He’s honest. He says he’s not very good at giving speeches in front of cameras,” said Jasmine Flores, a member of the Erie City Council.

The Oz campaign asked for seven debates with Fetterman, but the candidate agreed to only one. Fetterman’s reluctance to debate became a frequent topic of discussion in Oz.

Oz also raised anticipation for his debate performance by touting the occasion on Monday night Interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlsonfollowing his pattern of interviewing mostly friendly outlets and avoiding media use at his events, which are often not publicized in advance.

Despite a dismal start to the campaign, with Republican supporters initially fragmented, the Oz campaign gradually won support from undecided voters in September and October, closing by about 10 percentage points. The average deficit is now just 2.3 points. Five Thirty EightThe RealCelarPolitics average put Fetterman up just 1.3 points heading into the debate.

Early voting has already begun in Pennsylvania, and voters can also request an absentee ballot and choose to vote immediately whenever they want.

Erie resident Bill Tarbell, who was present at the watch party, said he thought Oz had done too much, telling The Daily Beast, “I don’t think he answered the question.” However, Tarbell also admitted that it was clear that Fetterman had struggled at times “because of his disability.”

“Fetterman did the best he could,” he said.

Jackie Kucinich contributed to this report.

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