The Pennsylvania senate race continues to heat up as early voting draws near and the battle lines become more defined. Mehmet Oz has been pressing John Fetterman, the health-challenged Democrat in the race, on his refusal to debate.
As RedState reported, that pressure led to Fetterman “committing” to debate sometime at the end of October, which would be a month after voting began in the state. Naturally, the press rushed to support the Democrat’s proclamation, asserting that because he had “committed,” the Democrat was off-limits for criticism again.
Here’s the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette playing that game.
Now that Mr. Fetterman has thrown down the gauntlet, it’s time for Mr. Oz to call off his attack dogs. The Republican celebrity doctor’s campaign continues to mock Mr. Fetterman’s commitment to debate as meaningless until the details are released. Those details are exactly what Mr. Oz’s campaign should be working on with Mr. Fetterman’s campaign — not lobbing further accusations.
The brazen of the press never ceases to amaze me. This wasn’t just a guest editorial, either. It was a joint effort from the in-house editorial board of the Post-Gazette. Let me let them in on a little secret, though…you can’t commit to a debate without actually committing to a debate.
That was the point Oz made in his rebuttal.
— Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz) September 9, 2022
“There is no John Fetterman debate offer. Debates have to be held at a specific time, a specific place. They have to have a host; you got to have a TV station. We don’t have any of these details,” Oz countered during an interview with Fox News’s Harris Faulkner on Friday. “He just dropped his head fake idea that ‘yeah, of course I’ll do a debate.'”
Fetterman says he’ll debate, but he’s given no place, no time, and no information on what organization will even host it. Oz has offered five debates, all hosted by mainstream media outlets (i.e. not GOP friendly), all of which Fetterman has rejected or been non-committal on.
The Post-Gazette’s statement that it is now up to Oz to stop all political attacks and to somehow work with Fetterman to hammer out the details is ludicrous. The Republican has been trying to do that for months to no avail. How about the Democrat in the race, who can barely put two sentences together and speaks in public for mere minutes at a time, provide some basic information about what he’s willing to do? Is that so much to ask? It’s absurd for the press to simply take Fetterman at his word that he’ll debate while demanding that Oz neuter his campaign in the process.
When you step back, it’s obvious what’s happening here – Fetterman is trying to run out the clock. He wants to wait until late October to see where the polls are and what the early-voting situation looks like. Then, if he feels he’s safe, he’ll make up some ridiculous excuse and not debate at all.
It is crazy to think that the first debate wouldn’t be held until days before the actual election and a month after early voting starts. How is any self-respecting news organization taking that commitment as anything other than a cop-out? We all know the answer to that, but still. No matter what happens, Oz should keep the pressure on. Fetterman is floundering, the polls are tightening, and the Republican has found a fruitful line of attack.