Oct 26, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Fetterman: Debate with Oz "wasn't exactly easy"

Pennsylvania's Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman speaks to supporters gathered in Dickinson Square Park in Philadelphia on October 23.

Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate seat, at an event in Philadelphia on Sunday. Photo: Kriston Jae Bethel/AFP via Getty Images

Democrat John Fetterman said Wednesday his performance at the Pennsylvania Senate debate the previous night "wasn't exactly easy," but he felt he still had the edge over Republican rival Mehmet Oz.

What he's saying: "I knew it wasn't going to be easy after having a stroke after five months," the 53-year-old lieutenant governor said at a rally in Pittsburgh. "In fact, I don’t think that’s ever been done before in American political history."

  • "I may not get every word the right way. But I will always do the right thing in Washington, D.C," Fetterman said.
  • "I have a lot of good days and every now and then I'll have a bad day, but every day I will fight always just for you."

The big picture: Fetterman struggled at times during the debate to respond to the moderators' questions, even with the assistance of a closed captioning device, per Axios' Josh Kraushaar and Erin Doherty.

  • His campaign said he was working off of delayed captions filled with errors, though Nexstar Media Group said the process functioned as expected.
  • Fetterman's doctor and campaign aides have said his auditory processing issues aren't signs of cognitive impairment, but the candidate has not committed to releasing his full medical records.

Worth noting: Fetterman noted Oz said abortion should be between "a woman, her doctor and local political leaders," adding: "You know, to focus on some of the words that I missed, he has to say that he had the worst line of the night."

By the numbers: Fetterman said his campaign raised more than $2 million online in the hours following the debate.

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