John Fetterman Dodges Debates in Pennsylvania as Health Questions Mount in Wake of Stroke

John Fetterman, lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania and Democratic senate candidate, speak
Michelle Gustafson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), running against Mehmet Oz for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat, continues to receive many questions about his health as he dodges debates with his opponent.

Following Fetterman’s semi-recent stroke and the lieutenant governor keeping an extremely low profile on the campaign trail, he has not accepted any proposal to debate Oz for the U.S. Senate seat.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on Tuesday that KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh has wanted to hold a televised debate, but only Oz agreed to participate.

In fact, the cardiothoracic surgeon and longtime television celebrity has used the KDKA debate to draw into question Fetterman’s health as there have been a lot of questions revolving around the lieutenant governor’s health since he suffered a stroke in May.

During recent appearances on Fox News, Oz accused Fetterman of hiding at home and dodging debates. Additionally, Oz’s campaign told the Post-Gazette that they would continue to argue Fetterman was hiding if they did not get any answers about Fetterman.

This all comes as state Sen. Dave Argall (R), the chairman of the Pennsylvania Senate State Government Committee, presses Fetterman to share the records he used and the timing for when he informed Gov. Tom Wolf about the stroke he previously suffered.

PennLive reported on Tuesday that Argall sent a follow-up letter last Friday to Fetterman asking to provide the communication between himself and the governor.

In his follow-up letter to Fetterman, Argall also repeated his invitation for Fetterman to testify to the committee he chairs in order to review a 1974 law that encompasses the procedures to follow if the state’s governor or lieutenant governor is unable to discharge the duties of their office.

“This subject matter is of immense importance to our commonwealth as maintaining continuity of government has never been more important,” Argall stated in the letter.

PennLive noted that Christina Kauffman, Fetterman’s spokeswoman said that his office would “provide whatever information we’re able to provide to help out” when Argall initially asked, but his letter stated, “to date, we have not received a response to this inquiry.”

As Breitbart News’ Nick Gilbertson reported earlier this month, Fetterman appeared to struggle with words during his speech at his first campaign rally since suffering a stroke in May.

Gilbertson added that Fetterman, who is typically a confident and competent public speaker, made some uncharacteristic blunders, struggled with words, and took awkward pauses at times during his 11-minute-long remarks.

The Post-Gazette noted that Oz has agreed to five debates moderated by professional journalism outlets while Fetterman has yet to agree to any. There are less than 80 days until the November election.

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.


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