Pennsylvania Democrat John Fetterman wouldn’t commit to releasing his full medical records during a highly anticipated debate against Republican Mehmet Oz on Tuesday, speaking haltingly throughout the hourlong event more than five months after experiencing a stroke. Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s 53-year-old lieutenant governor, has acknowledged that he “almost died” after suffering a stroke in May. On Tuesday night, he addressed what he called the “elephant in the room.”
“I had a stroke. He’s never let me forget that,” Fetterman said of his Republican opponent. “And I might miss some words during this debate, mush two words together, but it knocked me down and I’m going to keep coming back up.”He also quickly tried to go on offense by attacking Oz’s “gigantic mansions” and his integrity.”It’s the Oz rule: he’s on TV and he’s lying,” Fetterman said.
On Tuesday night, Oz attacked Fetterman’s policies on crime, saying he is “trying to get as many murderers out of jail as possible.” Fetterman insisted he is prepared for the demands of the Senate as he continues to recover from the stroke. Independent experts consulted by The Associated Press said he appears to be recovering remarkably well. He used closed-captioning during the debate to help him process the words he hears.