John Fetterman says he will debate Mehmet Oz in October

Politics

Mehmet Oz and John Fetterman (Associated Press-Matt Rourke/Gene J. Puskar)

(NewsNation) — Pennsylvania Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is committing to a single debate against GOP opponent Mehmet Oz next month.

The two are up for a Senate seat in Pennsylvania, a key battleground state.

Over the past few weeks, Fetterman has faced a barrage of attacks from Oz over his previous debate hesitation.

“John Fetterman can’t keep hiding from voters forever,” Oz has said.

The celebrity doctor, backed by former President Donald Trump, has been trying to sow doubt on Fetterman’s health and fitness for office since the Democrat suffered a stroke just before the state primaries in May.

“John Fetterman is either healthy and he’s dodging the debates because he doesn’t want to answer for his radical left positions, or he’s too sick to participate in the debate,” Oz said.

One particularly harsh attack saw an Oz campaign spokeswoman say that if “John Fetterman had ever eaten a vegetable in his life, then maybe he wouldn’t have had a major stroke.”

But Fetterman hit back at the Oz campaign.

“I had a stroke. I survived it. I’m truly so grateful to still be here today,” he said in a tweet. “I know politics can be nasty, but even then, I could *never* imagine ridiculing someone for their health challenges.”

In an interview, Fetterman told Politico that it “was really always (his) intent” to debate Oz.

“(It has) simply only ever been about addressing some of the lingering issues of the stroke, the auditory processing, and we’re going to be able to work that out,” he told the news outlet, though he declined to offer specifics on when and where the debate would occur. Fetterman did say the debate will take place “sometime in the middle to end of October” on a “major television station” in the state of Pennsylvania.

The campaign, according to Politico, is looking at the possibility of using a closed captioning monitor for the event.

Oz’s campaign immediately mocked Fetterman’s announcement of what they termed a “secret debate.”

Fetterman said his hearing is getting better each day.

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