The editorial board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette questioned whether John Fetterman, Pennsylvania Democratic Senate Candidat, is physically able to debate his opponent after suffering from strokes earlier in the year.
Fetterman, a Republican rival, turned down Dr. Mehmet O’s offer to participate in their first debate in September before the midterm elections. He accused his opponent of playing light on the stroke he had. The Pennsylvania paper published an opinion article titled “Beneath Campaign Nastiness, Legitimate Concerns about Fetterman’s Health” that explained why an in-person debate was so important to voters.
“If Mr. Fetterman cannot debate his opponent, that raises serious concern about his ability as a United States Senator,” wrote the Post-Gazette editorial board.
Oz was then called out by the paper for “dragging the race further and deeper into the muck,” although he admitted that he had made valid points.
“Mr. Oz raised legitimate concerns. Many voters will be concerned about Mr. Fetterman’s ability to effectively represent them in Washington if his communication skills are not up to scratch. “While he has been more open to participating in campaign events and media interviews over the past weeks, Mr. Fetterman still speaks haltingly. He relies on closed captioning for complete understanding his conversation partners.” The editorial board wrote.
“Fetterman’s campaign claims that he will make a complete recovery and that he is working hard to speed up that recovery. Although that is encouraging and admirable, stroke recovery is notoriously unpredictable,” the editorial boards continued. “While the campaign’s initial predictions were optimistic, more recent predictions of a’several month’ to a complete recovery may be optimistic.
Oz was criticized by the Post-Gazette’s editorial staff for “pressing the issue with an adolescent way”, but they reminded readers that live debates are the best way for voters to believe Fetterman is qualified for the job.
Fetterman stated last week that “My recovery may seem like a joke to Dr. Oz’s team, but it is real for me.” I won’t be taking part in the debates during September 1, but I look forward to a productive discussion on how we can move forward, and having a real conversation about this once Dr. Oz has taken this seriously.
Last week, Dr. Oz appeared on America’s Newsroom. He denied that Fetterman’s stroke was a joke and then went on to criticize the Democrat for avoiding the debate.
“I gave John Fetterman many opportunities to explain to him how I can make the debate easier, but at this stage, since he has given multiple reasons for not coming to the debate, including the fact that he doesn’t have the time, I believe he is hiding his radical views because of his position as the farthest left radical candidate in any competitive Senate race this year, and he doesn’t want those views exposed,” Oz stated to Dana Perino.
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