Fetterman Says Stroke Could Influence Debate Plans With Oz

John Fetterman

John Fetterman’s stroke recovery could influence his plans for future debates with Republican nominee Mehmet Oz.

The campaign for the Democratic lieutenant governor of the Commonwealth says the mid-May stroke has complicated his ability to engage in verbal conversations.

“We are working to figure out what a fair debate would look like with the lingering impacts of the auditory processing in mind,” Fetterman campaign strategist Rebecca Katz. “To be absolutely clear, the occasional issues he is having with auditory processing have no bearing on his ability to do the job as senator. John is healthy and fully capable of showing up and doing the work.”

According to the American Stroke Association, a side effect known as auditory overload can occur. In this situation, the brain has difficulty keeping up with the amount of sensory information it receives.

The Mayo Clinic notes “there are many approaches to helping people recover from stroke. But overall, rehabilitation is centered around specifically focused and repetitive actions — practicing the same thing over and over again.”

Oz has challenged his opponent to a series of five debates, including one that he wanted to occur on September 6 in Pittsburgh. Fetterman has not signed onto participate in any of the five, though has said that he is prepared to debate the celebrity doctor.

“I’m proud of my record as mayor and as Lieutenant Governor and I’m eager to put my record and my values up against Dr. Oz’s any day of the week,” he said in a statement.

The Oz campaign has taken a more aggressive mode over the past few days, offering “concessions” for Fetterman to engage in a debate as well as providing the Top 10 reasons why Fetterman will not debate.

The Post reports that “since returning to in-person events, Fetterman’s speeches have been limited to about 10 minutes and are sometimes halting. He has mostly avoided public interactions with reporters and voters, beyond working the rope line. He has done two one-on-one interviews over Zoom with local news outlets that were conducted with real-time closed captioning to avoid gaps in the conversation. In both interviews, he disclosed his continued struggles in both hearing and speaking.”

“Pennsylvania voters have a right to be concerned about John Fetterman’s health” said National Republican Senate Committee spokeswoman Lizzie Litzow. “It is a real concern. He isn’t answering questions and he’s avoiding debates. What is he hiding? He needs to stop lying and come clean to Pennsylvanians about his ability to serve in the Senate.”

Fetterman will appear on the 11th Hour With Stephanie Ruhle on Wednesday night at 11 p.m. EDT on MSBNC.

8 Responses

  1. Fetterman is a big baby. He mocks Oz and other Republicans online, but once someone goes after him he whines and complains. Put your big boy pants on – that your parents probably bought for you – Johnny Boy!

  2. Fetterman has not been honest from the getgo about his stroke. If he can’t debate, the Dems need to replace him with Lamb.

  3. If Lt. Gov Fetterman pitched his ailment as a battle we all must face with health and how he fought back to participate in society older voters who according to Trafalgar will be voting 80 percent of the total can relate.

  4. Fetterman wants the people of Pennsylvania to hire him to represent them in the United States Senate, the “World’s Greatest Deliberative Body”. If he is not healthy enough to engage in a debate, then the Democrats need to find a different candidate ASAFP…..full stop

    1. Yeah, the world’s greatest deliberative body had the knucklehead football coach from Alabama weighing in on worldly issues daily Sen Tommy Tubberville. Look, our baby boomers are aging and you better get used to people recovering from ailments because it will be commonplace.

  5. If he thinks that the stroke is influencing his capabilities to debate, wouldn’t it just be logical that it would influence his capabilities to run for Senate. Hats off to the crack reported with the complete lack of common sense that couldn’t draw this parallel.

  6. I’m more afraid of what NJ Oz can say than what Fetterman cannot. MAGA is biggest danger to US democracy.

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