Fact check: Which Fetterman, Oz debate claims ring true?

Pennsylvania 2022 midterm election

(NewsNation) — The limited time frame and rapid-fire questions at Tuesday’s debate between Pennsylvania Senate Democratic candidate John Fetterman and Republican challenger Dr. Mehmet Oz made it hard to decipher fact from fiction.

NewsNation followed up on claims regarding several key issues and fact-checked them below.

Health care

Claim: Oz would support cutting Medicare.

Finding: False. In the past, Oz has said he wants to strengthen Social Security without taking away benefits. He has also pledged to AARP that if elected, he would oppose cuts to programs like Social Security. Further, Oz has said he wants to expand Medicare Advantage plans.

Fetterman’s comment might be a reference to Oz praising a plan from Sen. Rick Scott that would “sunset” federal programs in five years unless Congress reauthorized them.

Claim: Fetterman supports socialized medicine

Finding: Mostly true. In the past, Fetterman has called health care a right and said he supports any plan that would lead to universal health care. He also voiced support for Medicare for All plans and has said that if he is elected, he hopes to cast the deciding vote in the Senate for a single-payer system.


Claim: Oz has done nothing to fight crime.

Finding: Technically true. Oz has no experience serving in public office and his campaign website doesn’t share many details related to crime prevention. Oz has said he supports police and, if elected, would provide resources to officers. He’s also voiced opposition to reforms like cashless bail.

Claim: Crime in Braddock, Pennsylvania increased when Fetterman was mayor.

Finding: True. FBI data supports the claim that major crimes increased during Fetterman’s time as mayor in Braddock. Major crimes dropped in his first year as mayor, but peaked in 2017 while Fetterman was still in office. It’s notable, however, that Fetterman has touted that while he was mayor of Braddock the city achieved more than five years without a gun death.

Immigration and personal property

Claim: Fetterman supports open borders.

Finding: Unclear. In the past, Fetterman has come out against President Joe Biden ending Title 42, which allows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to suspend entry into the U.S. during a public health emergency. The measure was put in place during the pandemic under former President Donald Trump. Fetterman has come out against that plan. In his personal life, however, Fetterman is married to a Dreamer and has campaigned for a more humane immigration system.

Claim: Oz has 10 mansions.

Finding: Somewhat true. Oz said on Twitter that he owns 10 properties but claimed only two of them are homes. Some of the other properties he owns include a mansion in New Jersey, two condos in New York City, a cattle farm in Florida and another mansion in Palm Beach. Oz’s wife also owns two properties, including a mansion in Maine.

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