Both Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz pledged to support their party’s aging favorites for the presidential nomination in their debate Tuesday night.
Fetterman — who often struggled to get through his hour-long debate while still recovering from a stroke in May — said he will side with President Joe Biden by 2024…if he wants to get involved. .
The Pennsylvania lieutenant governor said, “It’s up to him whether he runs and if he chooses to run, I would absolutely support him. But that is ultimately his choice.’
Biden has occasionally campaigned with Fetterman during the hotly contested race to decide control of the US Senate.
Oz, the former TV doctor, had framed the question in the context of Trump supporting him in the primaries but seemingly not promising to endorse the former president in 2024.
Fetterman — who often struggled to get through his hour-long debate while still recovering from a stroke in May — said he will side with President Joe Biden by 2024…if he wants to get involved.
Oz, the former TV doctor, had framed the question in the context of Trump supporting him in the primaries but seemingly not committing to endorsing the former president in 2024
The Pennsylvania lieutenant governor said of Biden: “It’s up to him whether he runs and if he chooses to run, I would absolutely support him. But that’s his choice in the end.”
Oz said, “I would support Donald Trump if he decided to run for president. But this is more than one candidate. This is a much bigger story about how we’re going to build a bigger tent to make more Americans feel safe.”
The Republican clarified: “I would support Donald Trump if he decided to run for president. But this is more than one candidate. This is a much bigger story about how we’re going to build a bigger tent to make more Americans feel safe.”
He was then asked by one of the debate’s moderators if he was concerned about the investigation into President Trump’s alleged attempts to undermine the results of the 2020 election.
Oz didn’t necessarily give a clear answer: ‘I didn’t follow them properly, I campaigned quite aggressively! They will come out on their own. I have tremendous faith in the American justice system and I believe that law and order will prevail.”
Fetterman struggled at some points to end his hour-long debate with Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz, as the aftereffects of his stroke in May were fully visible.
Right out of the gate, the candidates went after each other — with Fetterman’s delivery often faltering and jerky, while Oz turned on the TV charm he honed over 13 seasons of TV, smacking Fetterman for being “extreme.”
Ahead of the debate — the only one before the race in the Pennsylvania Senate — Fetterman’s campaign had tempered expectations by saying there would be “uncomfortable pauses” and “delays and errors” because the Democrat would read captions — because his auditory processing issue.
The pauses and stumbling blocks occurred throughout the debate.
At one point, Fetterman was asked to clarify his stance on fracking, as moderators pointed to a 2018 interview where the lieutenant governor spoke widely against the practice, but no ban.
“I support fracking — I don’t, I don’t — I support fracking, and I support fracking,” he replied.
Democratic Lt. gov. John Fetterman (left) debated Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz (right)
Both candidates opened the debate in attack mode.
“I run to serve Pennsylvania, he runs to use Pennsylvania,” Fetterman said of Oz. “Here’s a man who spent over $20 million of his own money trying to buy that chair.”
Fetterman also labeled Oz a “liar” and chided the TV doctor for owning 10 homes, insisting he couldn’t understand the struggles of everyday Pennsylvanians. Fetterman denounced Oz for having products bearing his name made in China.
Oz immediately went after Fetterman on crime.
“John Fetterman has been trying to get as many murderers out of prison as possible during this crime wave – convicted and sentenced to life in prison,” the TV doctor said.
Oz also beat Fetterman for not paying taxes.
‘It helped students buy their own house 17 years ago. They didn’t pay the bills… It’s never been a problem in any of the campaigns before. It was all about non-profit,” Fetterman said.
Reports of tax liens against Fetterman and a community group he led called Braddock Redux were: in the local Pittsburgh news when he ran for Senate in 2016 and was attached to properties he and the group bought in the suburb of the steel town where he was mayor.
A Fetterman campaign memo released before the debate had called for the Oz campaign for attacks on Fetterman’s health, mostly through Republican campaign personnel.
“Oz will try to play the nice doctor Tuesday night, but his campaign’s attacks on John’s health have always been vicious and brutal,” the memo read. “We will not forget that this is the same ‘doctor’ whose campaign has mocked John’s use of captioning technology, that he needs a toilet break and medical personnel nearby, and that he would not have had a stroke if he had eaten vegetables.”
Oz’s staff made the comments when negotiating a debate in September, but never did, when Fetterman backed out, saying the Republican team was making fun of a stroke victim.
The Harrisburg phase will be the only time the two candidates meet — as ballots have already been sent to voters in Pennsylvania.
Fetterman has consistently held a small lead in polls, and continues to do so, although several recent studies show it’s close.
On Tuesday, a CBS News poll estimated the distance between the two candidates at two points.
According to the survey, 51 percent of likely Keystone State voters support Fetterman, compared to 49 percent who support Oz.
The Democratic populist lead is well within the margin of error of 4.4 percent.
Pennsylvania voters are eager to see how the matchup will play out, CBS News poll suggests.
More than 60 percent of respondents said they were at least “somewhat” interested in tuning in.
The poll was held from October 21 to 24, until the night before the debate.
In addition to his auditory processing disorder, the stroke has caused Fetterman to occasionally stumble over his words and take more pauses while speaking.
A new poll taken until the day before the first and only debate by John Fetterman and Mehmet Oz shows the Democrat’s lead over his Trump-backed rival at just 2 percent.
But voters are not interested in it tonight, according to the poll.
Nor are they interested in more attacks on Oz’s Pennsylvania residence versus his childhood home in New Jersey, which have been a cornerstone of Fetterman’s campaign.
Fifty-four percent of registered voters told CBS they’re not looking for discussions about Fetterman’s health.
Similarly, 57 percent said they no longer needed to hear about where Oz lives.
But more than nine out of ten Pennsylvania respondents said they want the candidates to talk about the economy, as well as their views on crime and policing.
That could bode well for Oz tonight — Americans’ concerns about the economy and rising inflation have been a major campaign problem for Republicans across the country, as rising public polls show voters trust Republicans slightly more than Democrats, both in terms of the economy as crime.
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