Campaign

Fetterman holds first public appearance since bumpy debate

Democratic Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman greets Dave Mathews
Greg Nash
Democratic Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman greets Dave Mathews during a rally at Stage AE in Pittsburgh, Pa., on Wednesday, October 26, 2022. (Greg Nash/The Hill)

Pittsburgh, Pa.— John Fetterman held his first public appearance since Tuesday’s bumpy debate, hosting a campaign rally with the Dave Matthews Band in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. 

“To be honest, doing that debate wasn’t easy,” Fetterman said after he took the stage. “In fact, I don’t think that’s ever been done before in American history before.” 

“After that stroke, I got knocked down and I got back up,” he continued. 

Fetterman went on to appeal to members of the crowd, who have dealt with or have loved ones who have dealt with health issues. 

“How many of you have had your own personal major health challenge?” Fetterman asked. “What about your parents? What about perhaps a grandparent and, God forbid, even a child?” 

Fetterman said “there’s a lot more of us rooting against Dr. Oz.”

“By January I’m going to be feeling better, but he will still be a fraud,” the Democratic Senate hopeful said. 

Fetterman continued to criticize Oz over his remarks at Tuesday’s debate in which he said that abortion should be a decision between “a woman, her doctor and local political leaders.”  

“For some of the focus on some of the words that I miss, he really has to say he has the worst line of that night,” Fetterman said. 

Earlier on Wednesday, Fetterman’s campaign rolled out an ad blasting Oz over the comments. 

Wednesday’s event comes as polls show a tight race less than two weeks out from Election Day. The RealClearPolitics polling average shows Fetterman leading Oz by just 1.3 points. 

Fetterman and Oz faced off in their first and only televised debate on Tuesday, which saw the Democrat’s stroke recovery struggles on full display. 

Fetterman struggled at times to form coherent sentences and answer questions as a result of his stroke recovery. He was aided by a closed captioning system throughout the debate to help him understand the moderators’ questions, but he still had difficulty at times forming clear sentences.

But the night was not a complete wash for Fetterman. In addition to seizing on Oz’s abortion comments in an ad, Fetterman’s campaign said on Wednesday that he raised $2 million since Tuesday’s debate. 

Tags 2022 midterm elections Dave Matthews Band health concerns John Fetterman John Fetterman Mehmet Oz Pennsylvania Pennsylvania senate debate Pittsburgh Real Clear Politics stroke
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