After months of running interference for stroke victim Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the media has thrown in the towel after witnessing the Democrat nominee for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat struggle to express coherent thoughts in Tuesday night’s debate with Republican nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz.
John Fetterman: "My doctoral believes that I’m fit to be serving and that’s what I believe is where I’m standing."
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) October 26, 2022
John Fetterman can’t speak. This is disqualifying. Just watch. Answers like this are happening over and over again: pic.twitter.com/vnRQ0GMbtL
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) October 26, 2022
Watch the full question, and then watch the full answer.
It feels politically and medically unethical to have Fetterman run for office right now. If the media can't cover this very serious issue after the debate, they are truly hopeless. pic.twitter.com/9ByAZiipA7
— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) October 26, 2022
Time reporter Charlotte Alter, who earlier in the day raised eyebrows by basically repeating Fetterman campaign talking points downplaying expectations for the debate, gave a brutally frank observation on Fetterman’s performance, “This is a disaster for Fetterman”, followed by the hammer blow, “I spoke to Fetterman recently, and I expected him to be very bad tonight. But he was much much worse than I expected (and much worse than in our one-on-one conversation.)” and “My take all in one place: 1) Fetterman was already a very bad debater pre-stroke 2) I spoke to him recently, and his communication in our one-on-one conversation was much clearer than what we saw tonight”
Before the debate Alter had tweeted her low expectations (excerpted from thread):
Ahead of the Fetterman/Oz debate tonight, it’s worth remembering a couple things: 1) Fetterman has never been a good debater. Even before the stroke, he has always been a somewhat wooden debater (see: PA primary debate, pre-stroke.) He’s not Pete Buttigieg
4) Everyone will be watching for Fetterman’s stroke symptoms. I can tell you already what they are: he sometimes says the slightly wrong word, or conjugates something the wrong way. (ie: “understanding” instead of “understood.”)
For Dems, there will be some relief that he is not brain damaged. For Rs, his flubs will create fodder that they can spin into ads suggesting that he is worse off than he is.
Fetterman was so bad even Joe Scarborough couldn’t defend him, “John Fetterman’s ability to communicate is seriously impaired. Pennsylvania voters will be talking about this obvious fact even if many in the media will not.”
John Fetterman’s ability to communicate is seriously impaired. Pennsylvania voters will be talking about this obvious fact even if many in the media will not.
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) October 26, 2022
One of the rare blue check defenders of Fetterman after the debate was progressive USAToday columnist Connie Schultz (who is also the wife of progressive Democrat U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of neighboring Ohio)
“My God, the blue-check people here mocking John Fetterman during this debate, as if they are immune from the randomness of illness and infirmity. Time catches up with everyone, no exceptions. Few would have his courage to recover so publicly.”
My God, the blue-check people here mocking John Fetterman during this debate, as if they are immune from the randomness of illness and infirmity. Time catches up with everyone, no exceptions. Few would have his courage to recover so publicly.
— Connie Schultz (@ConnieSchultz) October 26, 2022
The Hill reporter Al Weaver, “Democrats are asking the same thing post-debate: Why did Fetterman’s team allow him to take the stage tonight? No one I’m talking to on the left has a good thing to say about what just took place.”
Democrats are asking the same thing post-debate: Why did Fetterman's team allow him to take the stage tonight? No one I'm talking to on the left has a good thing to say about what just took place.
— Al Weaver (@alweaver22) October 26, 2022
The line for apologies to Dasha Burns forms on the left.
NBC's Dasha Burns hits back at liberal reporters attacking her for pointing out Fetterman can't engage in "small talk."
"Our team was the first to be in the room with Fetterman for an interview rather than via remote video conference."pic.twitter.com/x3nWEujqLF
— Kyle Martinsen (@KyleMartinsen_) October 12, 2022