As we reported Wednesday, Democratic Pennsylvania Senate nominee John Fetterman has finally agreed to a debate with GOP nominee Mehmet Oz ahead of November’s midterm elections after backing out of a proposed debate that would have taken place last week.
Fetterman was vague on specifics outside of stating it would “be sometime in the middle to end of October” provided there was a way to have the “auditory processing problems” Fetterman is said to have had since his May stroke addressed perhaps via a closed-captioning monitor.
Fetterman’s suggestion that the debate take place in mid to late October sparked criticism from Republicans who correctly pointed out that it being so late in the campaign season and after people had already started casting their votes by way of early voting was not how things were supposed to work. Democrats, on the other hand, scoffed at the criticism, with Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) making a rather unintentionally illuminating remark when she asked Politico “And why should he help Oz’s campaign? Why does he need to do it now?”
But as it turns out, not even some on Fetterman’s side are happy with the secrecy surrounding not only his health but also his committing to merely one debate in a race that could very well determine control of the U.S. Senate. Here’s what the Washington Post said in a scorching editorial published Monday about Fetterman and his campaign:
Since returning to the campaign trail, Mr. Fetterman has been halting in his performances. He stammers, appears confused and keeps his remarks short. He has held no news conferences. Mr. Fetterman acknowledges his difficulties with auditory processing, which make it hard for him to respond quickly to what he’s hearing. He receives speech therapy — and we wish him a speedy, full recovery — but the lingering, unanswered questions about his health, underscored by his hesitation to debate, are unsettling.
The Fetterman campaign squandered credibility by concealing from the public for two days after his stroke that he had been hospitalized. It waited weeks longer to reveal a more complete picture of his medical history, including that he had been diagnosed in 2017 with cardiomyopathy. Mr. Fetterman had a pacemaker with a defibrillator implanted after the stroke. The campaign’s response to questions about Mr. Fetterman’s health is to point to a doctor’s note, released more than 14 weeks ago, which said “he should be able to campaign and serve in the U.S. Senate without a problem” if he takes his medications and exercises.
That’s not good enough. Mr. Fetterman is asking voters for a six-year contract without giving them enough information to make sound judgments about whether he’s up for such a demanding job. We have called for full disclosure of health records from candidates for federal office in both parties, including Donald Trump and Joe Biden, and we believe Mr. Fetterman should release his medical records for independent review.
I’m not a political expert nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but I know enough to understand that when you’re a Democrat and you’ve caught the ire of the Democrat apologists at the WaPo this close to election time, then you’ve got problems. Big problems. And this on top of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial board raising similar issues about Fetterman last week, calling concerns about his health “legitimate.”
But as I said before, even without the health issues taken into consideration, Fetterman has taken some highly questionable and in some cases hypocritical positions on the issues, including on his opposition to school choice, his racisty opposition to voter ID, his soft-on-crime positions as well as his opposition to American energy independence, and most alarmingly, his belief in abortion on demand for any reason and at any stage of pregnancy.
Those are extreme positions in a blue collar state like Pennsylvania, and they could ultimately come back to haunt Fetterman should more residents in his state learn about them, all of which may be the underlying reason why he doesn’t want to do more than one debate – if that one even happens.