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4 takeaways from John Fetterman, Mehmet Oz Debate for Pennsylvania Senate

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John Fetterman and Mehmet Oz squared off in their first and only debate on Tuesday night. During the hour, the candidates engaged in personal attacks and political confrontations. The Pennsylvania Senate race is one of the most crucial in this year’s midterm elections. Something is loading.

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HARRISBURG, Pa. — The long-awaited debate between Democratic Lt. Governor John Fetterman and famed Republican TV doctor Mehmet Oz for Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat featured personal attacks and political tussles, capturing the bitterness of an election that has become one of the most closely watched in the nation.

Tuesday night marked the first and only time the candidates would share a debate stage ahead of Election Day, now two weeks away. Polls show an increasingly tight race, with Oz cutting Fetterman’s longtime lead. The outcome of the election could determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the Senate.

Here are four key points of the debate:

Fetterman acknowledges his stroke

Fetterman relied on closed captioning during the debate to address his auditory processing difficulties, which were brought on by a stroke he had in May. He acknowledged his health in the opening minutes of the debate, calling him “the elephant in the room”.

“I had a stroke. He never let me forget that,” Fetterman said of Oz, who repeatedly questioned his opponent’s ability to serve.

“I may miss a few words during this debate, mix two words together,” Fetterman continued, “but it threw me off my feet, but I’ll keep coming back.”

As the time went on, Fetterman sometimes had trouble articulating clearly, speaking haltingly and garbled his speech. When the moderator pressed him to post his full medical records, Fetterman pointed to the doctor’s note he posted last week, which said he was recovering well and could carry out his duties for public service.

The Fetterman campaign praised his performance shortly after the debate ended.

“He did remarkably well tonight, especially considering he’s still recovering from a stroke and working on delayed subtitles filled with errors,” Joe Calvello said. , spokesperson for the campaign, in a statement.

Oz talks about abortion

Oz, who has called abortion “murder,” declined to say directly whether he would support the 15-week abortion ban proposed by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

On the contrary, Oz reiterated his position that he is against any federal abortion legislation and that decision-making should be left to the states.

Still, in his response, he mentioned he wants “local political leaders,” along with women and doctors, to work together to decide abortion laws — a comment Democrats were quick to seize on. in an effort to portray Oz as extreme.

“Our campaign will invest money to ensure that as many women as possible hear Dr. Oz’s radical belief that ‘local political leaders’ should have as much say in a woman’s abortion decisions. woman than the women themselves and their doctors,” Calvello said.

Fetterman, in debate, emphasized that he supported Roe v. Wade of the 1973 Supreme Court and that he would work to codify the landmark decision into federal law if elected.

Both support fracking and oppose expanding the Supreme Court

The candidates provided the same answers on questions that would appeal to Keystone State’s broad spectrum of independent swing voters.

Both Oz and Fetterman have expressed support for hydraulic fracturing – a technique for drilling natural gas – and increasing US energy independence, despite conflicting statements on the environmental issue in the past.

Oz pointed to fracking as a way to create more jobs in Pennsylvania. Fetterman, however, was grilled on his earlier remarks opposing fracking, which he distanced himself from on Tuesday night.

“I support fracking,” Fetterman has said repeatedly.

The rivals have also found common ground in the Supreme Court, rejecting calls to increase the number of justices on the bench, an idea that has gained momentum on the left since former President Donald Trump’s nominations cemented a 6-3 Conservative majority.

When asked about 2024, Oz and Fetterman each pledged to back Trump and President Joe Biden, respectively, if they decided to run for president.

The two candidates exchange personal attacks

Opponents traded barbs throughout the debate, occasionally interrupting and talking to each other. Oz attacked Fetterman for felony, while Fetterman hit Oz for his wealth.

“Dr. Oz spoke about how he would restore balance to Washington and find common-sense solutions to reduce costs for families and make our streets safer,” Oz campaign manager Casey Contres said in a statement. a press release at the end of the debate.

In their closing statements, Fetterman said he was fighting for “forgotten communities” in Pennsylvania, and Oz declared himself a “candidate for change.” As Oz talked about the economy in his closing argument, Fetterman chimed in, saying, “You want to cut Social Security!”

After the moderator’s intervention, Oz went on to say, “I am the living embodiment of the American dream.”

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