Washington Post Editorial Board calls out Fetterman campaign, demands he attend debate

By | September 13, 2022

The Washington Post Editorial Board directly criticized the campaign of Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania and Senate candidate, John Fetterman, demanding he actually attend a public debate.

“Mr. Fetterman has seemingly been reluctant to commit to firm debate dates, and that troubling stance has raised questions about whether he, still recovering from a serious stroke, is fit to serve in the Senate,” The Post’s Editorial Board explained.

The paper recounted that his opponent, Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz, has eagerly called for opportunities to debate, while noting that Fetterman appears to have dodged or kicked the can down the road.

“Mr. Oz has pressed for five debates, but Mr. Fetterman dodged and ducked before tentatively agreeing last week to one but not until ‘sometime in the middle to end of October,’” The Post observed. “That’s well after Sept. 19, when voters can start casting mail-in ballots, and it’s short of the two debates that had been the standard during recent competitive Senate contests in Pennsylvania.”

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The Post appeared sympathetic to Fetterman’s medical problems, but warned that they must be addressed straightforwardly if he wants to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

“Since returning to the campaign trail, Mr. Fetterman has been halting in his performances. He stammers, appears confused and keeps his remarks short. He has held no news conferences,” The Post observed.

The board followed by writing, “we wish him a speedy, full recovery — but the lingering, unanswered questions about his health, underscored by his hesitation to debate, are unsettling.”

The Post then condemned his campaign, saying they “squandered credibility” by hiding Fetterman’s health problems in the first place.

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“The Fetterman campaign squandered credibility by concealing from the public for two days after his stroke that he had been hospitalized,” it explained.

The piece then illustrated that the campaign’s response to questions about the candidate’s health “is to point to a doctor’s note” from “more than 14 weeks ago,” the editorial board argued that this tactic from his campaign is “not good enough.” 

The Post warned that if Fetterman wants to serve the people of Pennsylvania in the Senate, he needs to demonstrate he is worthy of their trust with a public debate.

“Mr. Fetterman is asking voters for a six-year contract without giving them enough information to make sound judgments about whether he’s up for such a demanding job,” the article explained.

The Washington Post is not the only editorial board to question Fetterman’s health.

Prominent Pennsylvania newspaper, the Pittsburg Post-Gazette, warned, “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.”