Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman acknowledged Wednesday that his Senate debate against Dr. Mehmet Oz “wasn’t exactly easy.”

Fetterman’s admission came during his first public comments since Tuesday night’s debate, where the Democratic candidate, who was aided by a closed captioning system, struggled to give coherent answers.

“Last night I was with Dr. Oz, and tonight I get to be with Dave Matthews, so … trust me that’s a pretty good choice,” Fetterman said at a rally in Pittsburgh, referencing the Dave Matthews Band frontman who performed several hits after the lieutenant governor’s opening remarks.

“To be honest, doing that debate wasn’t exactly easy,” Fetterman said of his first and only debate in the Pennsylvania Senate race. 

“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy after having a stroke after five months,” he added, jumbling some of his words.

John Fetterman and Dr. Mehmet Oz debated Tuesday evening for the Pennsylvania Senate election.
John Fetterman and Dr. Mehmet Oz debated Tuesday evening for the open Pennsylvania Senate seat.
AP

Fetterman seemed more at ease Wednesday night surrounded by 3,000 of his supporters, but said his “auditory processing issues” remained. 

“In fact, I don’t think that’s ever been done before in American political history,” Fetterman said of his post-stroke debate in which he needed a closed captioning system set up to be able to follow along. 

Before walking off the stage, Fetterman took several shots at Oz, and he accused the Republican Senate candidate of having the “worst line of that night.”

“Last night Oz said that, and i want to get this right, quote, local political leaders should be decide whether a women should get an abortion,” Fetterman said. 

John Fetterman suffered a stroke in May, and many are questioning his ability to fulfill his Senate duties if elected.
John Fetterman suffered a stroke in May, and many are questioning his ability to fulfill his Senate duties if elected.
AP

Fetterman was referring to Oz’s response to a question on abortion in which he said,  “I want women, doctors, local political leaders, letting the democracy that’s always allowed our nation to thrive to put the best ideas forward so states can decide for themselves.” 

Fetterman’s struggles in Tuesday’s debate sent Democrats, who see the race as critical in order to keep control of the Senate, into near-panic Tuesday night.

The White House also dodged questions on Wednesday on whether President Biden watched the debate and what the administration thought of Fetterman’s performance. 



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