Major Pennsylvania Newspaper Says Fetterman’s Stroke ‘Raises Serious Concerns’ About His Ability to Serve

by Harold Hutchison


A major newspaper in Pennsylvania questioned Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s ability to serve in the Senate in a Tuesday editorial after he declined another debate with Dr. Mehmet Oz.

“Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. and U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman has not fully recovered from the serious stroke he suffered in May,” the editorial board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said. “His campaign has acknowledged his obvious struggles with ‘auditory processing’ and speech, but the persistence of those struggles has contrasted with the campaign’s rosier predictions of a return to the rigors of campaigning, including debating his opponent, Mehmet Oz.”

Fetterman, who is running to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, suffered a stroke on May 13, and claimed he had “no limits” despite issues with hearing and his speech in July. Dr. Oz, who won the Republican nomination, raised Fetterman’s health as an issue after the Democrat declined a debate in August.

“If Mr. Fetterman is not well enough to debate his opponent, that raises serious concerns about his ability to serve as a United States senator,” the editorial continued.

“Mr. Oz has raised legitimate concerns. If Mr. Fetterman’s communication skills have not yet recovered sufficiently to effectively debate his opponent, many voters will have concerns about his ability to represent them effectively in Washington,” the editorial said. “While he has gamely undertaken more campaign events and media interviews in recent weeks, Mr. Fetterman still speaks haltingly and relies on closed captioning to fully understand his conversation partners.”

Fetterman has yet to accept a debate invitation, according to the Washington Examiner. He claimed he was able to “live a normal life” in an interview with MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle.

“John Fetterman is a liar, a liberal and a coward,” Dr. Oz’s campaign said in an Aug. 30 statement after Fetterman pulled out of a Sept. 6 debate hosted by Pittsburgh TV station KDKA. Oz accepted six debate invitations, according to

“Mr. Fetterman’s campaign asserts confidently that he will make a full recovery, and that he is doing the hard work — including speech therapy — to accelerate that recovery,” the editorial continued. “That is hopeful and laudable, but stroke recovery is notoriously unpredictable. The campaign’s early predictions proved optimistic; the more recent predictions of ‘several months’ to a ‘complete recovery’ may prove optimistic, too.”

Fetterman and Oz did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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Harold Hutchison is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “John Fetterman” by Tom Wolf. CC BY 2.0.





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