Pittsburgh Newspaper Calls on Democrat John Fetterman to Debate Dr. Oz

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A Pennslyvania publication is calling on Democrat John Fetterman to participate in a debate with Republican Mehmet Oz, which would be “the best way to assure voters Mr. Fetterman is up to the job” following his stroke in May.

In an article published Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s editorial board wrote that if “Fetterman is not well enough to debate his opponent, that raises serious concerns about his ability to serve as a United States senator.”

While the Democrat is using the Oz campaign’s snarky rhetoric to justify debate dodging, the newspaper’s editorial board said the Democrat’s excuses are insufficient, and voters deserve to see the two go toe-to-toe:

Mr. Oz is pressing the issue in an adolescent manner; nevertheless, a live debate is the best way to assure voters Mr. Fetterman is up to the job. The Republican’s antics have given Mr. Fetterman a plausible out: He won’t share the stage with someone who has behaved so shamefully. But that won’t cut it. Voters have a right to know whether their prospective senator can do the job — including handling the give-and-take of a vigorous debate.

Thus far, two potential debates between the opponents have not materialized. Fetterman declined to attend the first with KDKA, which would have taken place on Tuesday. Oz’s campaign offered several concessions to the Fetterman team and offered to “pay for any additional medical personnel he might need to have on standby.”

The Fetterman campaign responded by stating Oz’s camp “think[s] it is funny to mock a stroke survivor,” as Fox News noted.

The same day, the candidate appeared on MSNBC’s 11th Hour and told host Stephanie Ruhle that his health was “robust” and suggested his opponent’s five debate challenges were unserious:

Again, as I just said, this is just a sad approach at this point, because they’re trying to not focus on the condition of their campaign right now. And when they want to get into a serious conversation and really talk about having a debate, I’d be happy to engage in that. But right now, the fact that they have chosen to have a deeply unserious campaign — to just ridicule somebody that is just recovering from a stroke.

On August 31, Oz announced that WFMZ-TV and Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce Debate canceled a September 9 debate they were set to host.

Fetterman suffered his stroke on May 13, just days before the May 17 Democratic primary, which he won handily. He has been recovering ever since and seemed to struggle during appearances last month following the health emergency.

While he has stated he is open to a debate when the Oz camp gets “serious,” he said in February that “voters deserve[d]” several debates ahead of the May 17 primary.

“Debates are an important part of this primary,” he wrote in a tweet. “We believe voters deserve no fewer than three network televised debates – including all candidates who make the ballot – before major media markets across PA.”


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