Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Republican nominee for one of the U.S. Senate seats in Pennsylvania, is demanding that his opponent, Democrat John Fetterman, debate him in September before mail-in and absentee ballots are sent out.
Fetterman, who suffered a stroke days before the commonwealth’s primary election, has stumbled and slurred his speech in multiple public appearances while his campaign dodges questions about whether Fetterman will debate his rival.
In an apparent attempt to get the negative news attention off of him regarding whether or not he will debate Dr. Oz, Fetterman claimed in an interview that he intends to debate.
“It was just simply only ever been about addressing some of the lingering issues of the stroke, the auditory processing, and we’re going to be able to work that out,” he claimed.
Fetterman gave no specific details about when or where he would be willing to debate, but he did make sure to note that it would only be one time and that it would be toward the “end of October,” just days before the election. Oz, on the other hand, has agreed to do five debates.
“The first debate has to be in September so we can allow voters to know who their candidates are right now,” Oz responded. “Pick one of the debates in the next two, three weeks. So we can get this ball rolling.”
Oz told Axios that he would not accept a mid-October debate unless Fetterman first agreed to do one in the coming days. Absentee and mail-in ballots are available in Pennsylvania in less than two weeks.
“This is not about health. This is about honesty,” Oz said. “You’re either healthy, which [Fetterman] says he is pretty much, or you’re not debating because you don’t want to face the rigors of being pushed on your radical positions. Or you’re lying about being healthy.”