Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz will meet Tuesday in one of the most anticipated midterm debates to determine control of the House and the future of President Joe Biden’s agenda. A fierce battle for a Senate seat from Pennsylvania is likely to take place. .
Much of the focus has been on Fetterman, who has spent the past few months fending off an escalating series of attacks from Oz regarding his health and fitness for office. said he had a stroke in May and had health scares so severe that he “almost died.”
However, he claims to be ready for the Senate’s demands.Since the stroke, Fetterman has sometimes struggled to speak clearly in public. However, an independent expert consulted by the Associated Press said he appeared to be recovering very well. increase.
Still, Tuesday’s debate could prove to be a defining moment in the race representing the best chances Democrats can take the Republican Senate seat this year. Oz, on the other hand, would have a high-profile chance to unite Republicans and appeal to the moderates who decide the race.
“The debate is huge and looms larger than usual for a Senate debate,” said Republican activist Charles Gerow, a veteran of more than 20 years on Sunday’s television political talk show.
For all the candidates, issues, and important dates that Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware voters need to know, visit: NBC10’s decision 2022 pageFind tools to help you navigate the midterm elections, including when to vote and who to vote in the primaries and November general election.
The pending debate – the first and only in the contest – took place just two weeks before Election Day and, according to polls, is a close race to replace two-term retiring Republican Senator Pat Toomey. This is the only major statewide debate in Pennsylvania this year, as Democrat Josh Shapiro and Republican Doug Mastriano failed to reach an agreement on the terms of the gubernatorial debate.
Fetterman has grown into a national brand thanks to his extraordinary stature, tattoos and outspoken progressive stance. But the 53-year-old Pennsylvania Democrat’s health has emerged as a central issue over the final weeks of the election.
Oz, who trailed behind in the polls, has called for more than half a dozen debates, suggesting that Fetterman’s unwillingness to agree to more than one debate was due to a stroke that weakened him. , arguing that one debate is typical and two debates are more common, and that Oz’s focus of the debate is on the use of drugs to lie about his stroke recovery. It’s a cynical ploy.
Meanwhile, Fetterman’s lead in the polls dwindled as Oz’s Republican allies poured tens of millions of dollars into a perennial battleground state that Biden won by just one percentage point in 2020.
Fetterman’s supporters fear that a 60-minute live televised debate could prove a winless situation for Democrats, even though the typical audience for a Senate debate is very small. Much attention is likely to focus on how the frank and outspoken Fetterman can communicate in pressure situations.
His campaign put Fetterman on stage with Oz, the longtime television personality who hosted the weekday “Doctor Oz Show” for 13 seasons after starting out as a regular guest on Oprah Winfrey’s show in 2004. It acknowledges the built-in disadvantages of
“This will always be an away game for John Fetterman,” said Mustafa Rashed, a Democratic political consultant based in Philadelphia.
The debate organizers refused to allow AP photographers to attend the event, and AP refused to accept distribution photos.
Fetterman’s stroke came just days before he won a big Democratic primary. He said he was taking long walks, driving his car and doing household chores.
Backed by former President Donald Trump, Oz narrowly survived his own primary, defeating Republican rival David McCormick by 951 out of more than 1.3 million votes after a day-long recount.
Fetterman has refused calls to release medical records or to have reporters question his doctors, but last week, Fetterman was recovering well, showing no cognitive effects and “I am fully capable of performing my duties in public service.”
Fetterman says he keeps stumbling over words from time to time, and that a common condition in his stroke — called auditory processing disorder — is that his brain’s language networks are unable to quickly and accurately translate sounds into meaning. That’s why he has to use closed captions during interviews and discussions.
Malcolm Kenyatta, a Democratic state legislator who is campaigning for Fetterman after unsuccessfully challenging him in the primary, said that Fetterman would talk about his priorities as a senator and which Oz He said he should choose whether to respond to the attack.
Fetterman “should ignore the clown show going on on the other side as much as possible. If he does, I think it’s a win,” Kenyatta said.
Peoples reported from New York.
https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/decision-2022/fetterman-oz-pennsylvania-senate-debate/3401421/ Fetterman, Oz, highly anticipated Pennsylvania Senate debate – NBC10 Philadelphia