Oz Challenges Fetterman to Debate, Abject Terror Follows

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

It’s now August 12th, 2022, and John Fetterman, the Democrat senate candidate in Pennsylvania, has still not held a public event since he had a major stroke in May. Instead, his campaign has revolved entirely around the army of resistance bots that populate his Twitter mentions and cardboard cutouts (no, I’m not joking).

As to messaging, Fetterman has one retort: Ranting about New Jersey. Almost every single post he puts out is some kind of slam on the fact that Dr. Mehmet Oz, his Republican opponent, formerly lived in New Jersey.

Can Fetterman really ride a single-issue, ghost campaign to victory? I don’t know, but he’s obviously terrified to do anything else. That explains his response to Oz’s recent request to hold five debates. Instead of jumping at the chance to highlight his record and policy stances, Fetterman lashed out, not committing to any of them.

In response to questions from NBC News, Fetterman campaign strategist Rebecca Katz dismissed the Oz campaign’s debate demand as “an obvious and pathetic attempt to change the subject during yet another bad week.”

“John is up for debating Oz — but we’re not going to do this on Oz’s terms. A millionaire celebrity like Dr. Oz is probably used to pushing people around and getting his own way, but he’s not going to be able to bully John Fetterman,” she said in an email.

What “terms” are in question here? A debate is a debate, and Oz isn’t demanding Sean Hannity be the moderator. He’s just suggesting Fetterman, you know, commit to showing up so people can see if he can even speak. To this point, as the NBC report admits, the Democrat has only been seen in highly edited videos, suggesting he still has lingering effects from his stroke. He keeps claiming he’s ready to go while avoiding any opportunity to prove it. That’s highly suspicious, and if it weren’t a compliant, friendly media, Fetterman would never be allowed to get away with it.

Regardless, Oz’s challenge to debate is smart. It puts all the cards on the table and makes Fetterman look weak for making excuses. The reality is that his campaign has spent the last six months carefully crafting the Democrat’s image into a hoody-wearing, working-class everyman. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Fetterman’s parents are millionaires who gave him a yearly allowance well into his 40s. He flubbed his job as a small-town mayor, and his positions are Bernie Sanders-level radical.

The last thing Fetterman’s handlers want is to put him in multiple debates where he’ll be questioned on what he actually believes while also exposing his true physical condition. If that happens, the facade comes off, and the entire dynamic of the race could change.

Given that, you can expect them to keep sneering until at least late September. Then, they might agree to do a single debate. Oz can make a lot of hay between now and then, though, if he plays this right. The gloves have come off, and it’s time to make Fetterman answer for who he actually is.

In the end, Fetterman is scared. He knows he’s a fraud and that shouting New Jersey over and over will only take him so far. For all the media proclamations about this race, things could change in a hurry as we head into the fall. If you live in Pennsylvania, now is the time to ratchet things up, not give up.

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