John Fetterman debate clips have gone viral after the Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania’s Senate seat struggled with some sentences on video due to the aftermath of a previous stroke.
Fetterman is running against Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Republican, who had his own controversial moment on abortion during the debate.
Fetterman’s performance has increased scrutiny of his cognitive challenges due to the stroke. You can see some of the top debate clips throughout this article. According to The New York Times, the debate took place just five months after Fetterman had a stroke.
On widely circulated debate clip video shows Fetterman saying “good night” to open the debate.
“Fetterman struggled to communicate clearly, even though he has acknowledged ongoing difficulty in processing what he hears and speaking without dropping words,” NBC News reported.
Here’s what you need to know:
Oz Accused Fetterman of Lying About Fracking & Fetterman Tweeted, ‘I Got Knocked Down, But I Got Back Up’
Fetterman tweeted, “I knew a debate wasn’t going to be easy after having a stroke five months ago. I don’t think that’s ever been done before in American political history. I got knocked down but I got back up. I’m going to fight for everyone in PA who ever got knocked down and had to get back up.”
Fetterman highlighted Oz’s comments on abortion after the debate. “I just stepped off the #PASenateDebate stage. Tonight, Dr. Oz said he wants women’s bodily autonomy to be up to ‘local political leaders,’” he tweeted. “Let me be clear: I will ALWAYS support abortion rights.”
For his part, Oz criticized Fetterman’s contradictory comments on fracking. “John Fetterman lied about his stance on fracking last night,” he wrote.
Oz also tweeted, “At tonight’s debate, John Fetterman STILL refused to give Pennsylvanians answers: Fetterman did not explain his position on fracking in 2018 where he said, ‘I do not support fracking at all, and I never have.’” Oz added, “Fetterman refused to apologize for pulling a gun on an innocent black jogger in 2013. Fetterman did not explain if he still supports Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All plan. Fetterman did not explain why he failed to pay his taxes 67 times.”
Even Some Democrats Raised Concern About Fetterman’s Debate Performance
Even some Democrats raised concern about Fetterman’s debate performance.
“He should not have debated. Anyone on his team who agreed to a debate should be fired, or never work again, because that debate may have tanked his campaign,” said Chris Kofinis, a veteran Democratic campaign strategist, to NBC News. “This race was trending toward victory. Now, it’s anyone’s guess what happens.”
“Folks are pretty much freaking out on the Dem side,” Khari Mosley, a Pennsylvania Democratic consultant, told NBC.
“In retrospect, he probably shouldn’t have debated,” former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat, told The Associated Press. “But the key is he is recovering from a stroke.”
“The only way to recover from this,” he added to AP, “is for John to go out in public as much as possible, to be seen, to be interviewed, and do as much as he can to let people know that he’s ready to take office.
“In my opinion, he did very well,” said Dr. Sonia Sheth, of Northwestern Medicine Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in suburban Chicago, to the AP. “He had his stroke less than one year ago and will continue to recover over the next year. He had some errors in his responses, but overall he was able to formulate fluent, thoughtful answers.”
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