Oz goes there: PAC runs ad about that time Fetterman pulled a shotgun on a black jogger

Source: Hot Air

The race in Pennsylvania between Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz and Democrat John Fetterman is heating up. While all polls show Fetterman up over Oz, the big lead Fetterman once maintained is slowly being whittled down. Ever so slowly but enough so that Real Clear Politics shows Fetterman up by 6.5 points while the last Emerson poll, for example, shows Fetterman up by 4 points.

Keep the faith. Anything can happen in the last couple of months before an election. Lately Oz, a medical doctor, has been hitting Fetterman for failing to agree to debates, a legit complaint. Voters have a right to hear from the two candidates, side by side, and make up their minds. Fetterman had a stroke and has not fully recovered. More on that in a minute.

A pro-Oz PAC released a new 30-second television ad which brings up a story from Fetterman’s past. In 2013 John Fetterman was the mayor of Braddock, a small community in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. Fetterman pulled a shotgun on a black jogger. He mistakenly suspected the jogger, Cristopher Miyares, of a crime.

The ad, titled “Chase,” was released by American Leadership Action and says Fetterman, then mayor of Braddock, “chased down an innocent, unarmed Black man.” The ad then jumps to an interview with the jogger, Cristopher Miyares, where he describes Fetterman pulling a gun and aiming it at his chest.

“I mean, there’s a mayor with a shotgun and six other cops surrounding me. What else could I do but this?” the jogger says in the ad as he puts his hands up in surrender.

Fetterman then says in an interview he believes he did “the right thing” while saying he probably broke the law in doing so.

The ad closes by calling Fetterman “reckless, risky” and “wrong for Pennsylvania.”

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The PAC inserts the race card, right? Here is this large white man who allegedly heard gunfire and saw a man running away. He chased the man with his shotgun, and held him until police arrived. If the alleged bad guy was also white, this ad wouldn’t be controversial at all. But, we’ve seen stories in recent years of a white man (or men) who pursued a black man assumed to be guilty of a crime and the race issue enflames the situation, as in the Ahmaud Arbery case in Georgia. It is hard to not think that this ad is throwing the race card in the campaign. It’s fair game, of course, and Fetterman already got out in front of the incident, probably aware that it would become an issue at some point. He spoke about it in a 2021 video.

Here’s the thing that doesn’t quite make the ad seem right, at least for me. Cristopher Miyares supports Fetterman in the race. And, oh yeah, Miyares is currently in a state prison.

Miyares is currently in a state prison in Somerset County for an unrelated crime and says Fetterman has “lied about everything” that happened that day, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. However, Miyares was clear in his support for Fetterman’s Senate bid, writing “I hope he gets to be a Senator.”

“Even with everything I said, it is inhumane to believe one mistake should define a man’s life,” Miyares wrote to the Inquirer.

Welp. See what he did there? Not only does he take the high ground after Fetterman chased him with a shotgun and then “lied about everything” but he thinks one mistake shouldn’t define a man’s life. The man saying that is in prison for making a mistake. He’s garnering sympathy for himself while giving Fetterman a break. It’s just all a little too cringey for me.

What Oz and his supporters should focus on is Fetterman’s position on criminal reform. He wants to empty Pennsylvania’s prisons by a third. There is even an Inmates for Fetterman coalition

“Inmates for Fetterman have John Fetterman to thank for advocating for the release of one-third of Pennsylvania’s inmate population, defunding the police, decriminalizing drugs like heroin and fentanyl, and lesser sentences for murder convictions,” said the coalition.

Oz should go with that progressive lunacy. Americans are scared to go out in big cities and even some smaller communities these days because of the violent crime spike since Joe Biden took office. The Defund the Police movement has not gone well for the safety of ordinary Americans. Oz should point out Fetterman’s progressive policy ideas that are clearly out of the mainstream.

As for Fetterman’s reluctance to debate Oz, it is understandable because he is still recovering from a stroke. That, though, only carries Fetterman so far. We keep being told by Democrats that Fetterman’s stroke was a mild one. It seems to me that Fetterman is recovering much more slowly than others who suffer a mild stroke. I realize each person recovers at their own rate but if Fetterman lied about his pre-existing condition that attributed to his stroke, which he did, then why are Pennsylvania voters supposed to believe Fetterman’s description of the stroke? His campaign recognized that Fetterman has denied requests for a debate because he is still recovering. Why not just fess up and say he won’t be able to debate?

If it is the case that Fetterman’s recovery doesn’t improve as the election grows closer, then voters should realize that he is just not up to the job. I know that sounds harsh but how can he be expected to properly represent the residents of Pennsylvania when he isn’t physically able to do the job? The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial board asks the same question. However, the board slams Oz for criticizing Fetterman for a medical condition. It calls such criticism “Republican antics.”

“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,” the Post-Gazette editorial board wrote.

The Oz campaign has criticized Fetterman’s health as a result, and Fetterman has cited his health as to why he will not debate Oz. The Post-Gazette said the Oz campaign has used Fetterman’s health to its benefit as the election draws closer. However, the editorial also says Oz has worked to distance himself from his own campaign’s statements, trying to avoid personal condemnation of Fetterman’s health.

“Mr. Oz is pressing the issue in an adolescent manner; nevertheless, a live debate is the best way to assure voters Mr. Fetterman is up to the job,” the editorial read.

Given the fact that Fetterman has yet to fully recover his communications skills, the Post-Gazette states voters could be concerned about his ability to serve in the Senate considering he is still unable to debate.

Whatever. It’s a legitimate issue. Oz is a medical doctor, he can speak intelligently about a stroke victim.

Even the mild-mannered Senator Pat Toomey, who is retiring and leaving open the seat in the Senate, questioned Fetterman’s ability to do the job.

“John Fetterman has refused to agree to any formal debates with Dr. Oz. There’s something that’s just not right here. In every campaign I ever ran, I did debates… it’s an important part of the democratic process,” Toomey said in a press release. “I’m here to issue a warning to Pennsylvania voters, you can’t do your job as U.S. senator sitting at home firing off snarky tweets.”

Toomey also stated he had “doubts” about whether Fetterman “is up to the job” given his recent stumbling during public appearances.

Fetterman appeared with Biden during a Labor Day speech and he is out on the campaign trail, delivering speeches as best as he can. It would appear he’s capable of doing a debate if he wanted to do it. The length of the debate could be shortened to accommodate him, if necessary. Voters have a right to see for whom they are voting. Fetterman is not simply entitled to the office.