Advisors for Democratic Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman’s campaign has now issued a document attempting to set the stage for tonight’s debate with his Republican rival Mehmet Oz, in the process claiming that the doctor has a “major built-in advantage” in the debate.
In addition, during the debate, Fetterman will be forced to employ a computer to provide him with real-time closed captioning due to lingering health effects from the catastrophic stroke he suffered earlier this year.
Rather than speaking to Oz directly, Fetterman will read Oz’s replies on the screen in front of him before reacting.
Fetterman’s aides attempted to lower expectations for the debate in advance, claiming in a statement that the medium will be naturally advantageous to Mehmet Oz owing to his years of television appearances.
“We’ll admit – this isn’t John’s format. Look no further than the debates from the primary earlier this year. On the other hand, ‘Oz is a polished daytime TV host who knows his camera angles and how to craft TV moments,'” the statement claimed.
“John is ready to share his vision for Pennsylvania, defend his record, and make the case against Oz. He’s going to be talking about his real ideas to help real people. But if we’re all being honest, Oz clearly comes into Tuesday night with a huge built-in advantage,” it continues.
Concerns have lately been made about Fetterman’s incapacity to communicate simply and without the use of technology.
According to NBC’s Dasha Burns, Fetterman had trouble participating in simple small chat prior to an interview without the help of captioning equipment.
We were happy to accommodate closed captioning. Our reporting did not and should not comment on fitness for office. This is for voters to decide. What we do push for as reporters is transparency. It’s our job. Fetterman sat down and answered our questions. That’s his job. https://t.co/gFZ02hlUs5
— Dasha Burns (@DashaBurns) October 12, 2022
Nexstar will host the discussion, which will be televised across Pennsylvania beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
It follows Oz’s months-long attempt to persuade Fetterman to share the stage following Fetterman’s stroke in May.
The candidates are likely to argue over public safety, the economy, health care, and other issues, but Fetterman’s health is likely to be a significant issue weighting on the minds of many voters