John Fetterman is not well. That’s been obvious to anyone following the senate race currently going on in Pennsylvania. While the Democrat has done his best to hide behind a fake online personality that paints him as some kind of hoodie-wearing working man, the reality is that Fetterman is a professional bum who has lived off his parents, ignored his doctors, and is currently suffering serious side effects from a massive stroke.
His much-heralded “return” to the campaign trail consisted of a speech that lasted about 10 minutes, and he just barely made it through it, with multiple disturbing and uncomfortable moments from a physical standpoint. Since then, his appearances have been scarce and even shorter.
Does John Fetterman skip leg day? pic.twitter.com/WCyzD1DXxW
— Brick Suit (@Brick_Suit) August 22, 2022
Fetterman has also refused to commit to any debates. And while Mehmet Oz, the GOP candidate, had been very careful not to talk about his opponent’s health issues for reasons I’ll never understand, that finally changed on Monday. The gloves came off, and the Republican’s campaign put out a statement directly suggesting that Fetterman is “too sick” to debate.
NEW #PASEN: Oz campaign pressing Fetterman on debates this morning:
“If John is too sick to debate and is concerned he can not stand in front of cameras for more than 10 minutes, then he should just say so.” pic.twitter.com/o9jdTFtryI
— Dasha Burns (@DashaBurns) August 22, 2022
There’s just no question in my mind that Fetterman’s refusal to debate is health-related. If you go and watch the video linked above in my previous article on his return to the campaign trail, you’ll see a guy who legitimately looked as if he could not make it more than 15 minutes standing up. His mind certainly couldn’t last that long under any kind of serious mental load. Recently, Fetterman put out a 15-second video on Twitter promoting another silly “New Jersey” slam on Oz, and the Democrat couldn’t make it the whole way through his lines without a hard cut in the middle.
Fetterman is not going to debate because he can’t debate, and the longer this drags on, the more that’s going to become an issue for voters. It’s one of the reasons I’ve said not to panic and to ignore the ridiculous polls showing Fetterman winning by a bazillion points. The dynamics of this race are changing, and they are going to favor Oz down the stretch. Instead of giving up, Republicans should be pumping more money into Pennsylvania and projecting a sense of confidence that they can pull this out.
On that front, Oz received some good news recently. A new Trafalgar poll has come out showing him within striking distance. Prior polls were almost exclusively partisan internals.
— Robert C. Cahaly (@RobertCahaly) August 21, 2022
No one wants to be down five points in any race at any point, but it’s still August, and history says that GOP senate candidates have a tendency to close the gap down the stretch. Oz can make the ground up he needs pretty easily if he keeps beating the ground the way he’s been doing. And as Fetterman’s debate cowardice puts the spotlight further on his health, that’s an issue Republicans need to lean into.
Now is the time to hit the gas and keep pushing. Forget Mitch McConnell’s dooming and the smart set’s proclamations about candidate quality. The situation is what it is, and this is no time to give ground. Make Fetterman fight over every inch of it.