Pittsburgh newspaper: Oz has raised ‘legitimate concerns’ about Fetterman’s health

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s editorial board said that Pennsylvania Senate Republican nominee Mehmet Oz has raised “legitimate concerns” about his Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, in an editorial published Tuesday

The editorial comes a week after Fetterman announced that he would not participate in a debate with Oz during the first week of September, citing his recovery from a stroke he had in May and statements from Oz’s campaign that Fetterman has said mocked him for having the stroke. 

“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 states. 

Fetterman told the Post-Gazette in July that he felt “really good” following the stroke and has no “physical limits.” 

The editorial states Fetterman’s campaign has acknowledged lingering struggles with speech but asserts that he will fully recover and is taking the necessary steps to do so in speech therapy. It states that a live debate is the best way to determine if Fetterman is up to the job of senator. 

The editorial board endorsed former President Trump for reelection in 2020, its first time endorsing a Republican for president since 1972. Trump endorsed Oz’s campaign in the spring.

The board said the legitimate point about Fetterman’s health does not excuse the tactics that Oz’s campaign has pursued in deciding that Oz will benefit from “dragging the race deeper and deeper into the muck.” 

Fetterman’s stroke –– which he had in May shortly before winning the Democratic primary –– gained additional attention in the general election campaign after an Oz spokesperson said in a statement to Insider that Fetterman may not have had a stroke if he “had ever eaten a vegetable in his life.” 

Oz’s senior communications adviser made the statement in response to criticism Oz received for a campaign video in which he complained about rising grocery prices making crudité more expensive. His campaign later released a mocking statement in which it noted “concessions” that it would make if Fetterman agreed to a debate, like paying for “additional medical personnel” that Fetterman might need “on standby.” 

Fetterman said Oz has made “abundantly clear that they think it is funny to mock a stroke survivor” and that he would be ready to discuss debating Oz when Oz and his team “are ready to take this seriously.” 

The Post-Gazette said Oz has attempted to distance himself from his campaign’s statements but that spokespeople speak for his campaign and he should fire them if they have “gone rogue.” But the editorial said he can note legitimate concerns about Fetterman being straightforward with his health without “sandbox bullying.”

Tags 2022 midterms Fetterman Oz debate Fetterman stroke John Fetterman John Fetterman Mehmet Oz Mehmet Oz Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Senate race United States Senate

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