Democrat Senator Makes Illuminating Statement About John Fetterman as Debate Drama Heats Up

AP Photo/Rebecca Droke

We reported Wednesday on how Democratic Pennsylvania Senate nominee John Fetterman finally announced he’d do one debate with GOP nominee Mehmet Oz ahead of November’s midterm elections after backing out of a proposed debate that would have taken place this week. He was vague on specifics outside of suggesting 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.


The few public appearances Fetterman has made since his stroke have been concerning to say the least, and have not only led to questions being raised by Republicans over his ability to serve in the Senate but even by some in the mainstream media, who are now sounding the alarm bells considering how Fetterman’s comms staff have been employing cagey Biden-esque media avoidance strategies in an effort to not reveal too much about Fetterman’s health as the election draws nearer.

But while we can’t rely on the Fetterman campaign to be upfront about the state of things regarding his fitness to serve, we can read between the lines on what other Democrats have to say about it, which brings me to an intriguing quote from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) as reported by The Politico, which published a piece Thursday on Democrats who are “waving away” questions about Fetterman’s physical fitness (bolded emphasis added):

As the hotly contested race enters the critical two-month general election stretch, Democrats are advising Fetterman to hold to his strategy as GOP nominee Mehmet Oz and other Republicans allege that Fetterman may not be physically able to serve as a U.S. senator. That means not rushing into an early debate with Oz and remaining selective about public appearances.

“Listen, Fetterman doesn’t need to debate him right now,” said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.). “Because he’s ahead. It’s still early. I think, ultimately, he will [debate]. And why should he help Oz’s campaign? Why does he need to do it now?


That’s … a rather illuminating way to phrase the question. Just how, in fact, would Fetterman be “helping” Oz if he debated him now? In effect, perhaps Shaheen knows that in his current condition – or even if he was at the top of his game – debating Oz would backfire on Fetterman in short order.

And inadvertently, she made a good point. Health issues or not, Fetterman’s 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.

Quite frankly if I was Fetterman, I wouldn’t want to agree to any debates, either, considering how out of touch he is with average Pennsylvanians. But unlike with Joe Biden, I don’t think Fetterman’s basement hideout strategy is going to help him too much. In fact, polls already show the race tightening, which indicates that the Oz strategy of questioning his ability to serve and pushing back on Fetterman’s “carpetbagger” claims might be working.


Related: Floundering Stacey Abrams Begs Raphael Warnock for Help as Tensions Rise Among Georgia Dems


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