Fetterman Called Out By Washington Post Over Refusal To Debate Oz

Even the progressive standard-bearing Washington Post is questioning Democrat John Fetterman’s refusal to show voters his medical records or engage in public debates with Republican Mehmet Oz. The two rivals are facing off in the November general election to take the open seat in the U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania that is up for grabs.

Fetterman suffered a significant stroke in May and has been seen in recent public appearances struggling with his words. Although Oz has said he will commit to six debates before election day, Fetterman has refused to agree.

Now the Post has taken notice, publishing an op-ed on Monday that says the Fetterman campaign’s responses to medical questions are not sufficient. His staffers have pointed to a doctor’s note released several months before his stroke that says Fetterman “should be able to campaign and serve in the U.S. Senate without a problem” so long as gets some exercise and stays on his medications.

The Post editors now say that statement “is not good enough.” They argue that if Fetterman wants voters to offer him a full six years in the Senate, they deserve “enough information to make sound judgments about whether he’s up for such a demanding job.” The column points out that the paper has made similar demands of Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

The paper also says Fetterman should agree to at least one debate with Oz before early voting begins.

Fetterman said in an interview with Politico last week that he would agree to debate Oz sometime between the middle and the end of October. However, he provided no specifics. That time frame would come a month or longer after mail-in voting commences in Pennsylvania on September 19.

Oz told reporters over the weekend that he has “no Fetterman debate offer.” He acknowledged that there had been a vague claim that he would “show up at some point,” but he noted that debates have to be set for specific dates and locations with ground rules agreed upon in advance.

Fetterman’s one-time double-digit lead over Oz in the polls has been shrinking. A survey conducted last month by the Trafalgar Group indicates that Fetterman’s lead over Oz was down to 48.4% to 43.5%.

RealClearPolitics rates the contest one of eight tossups in the Senate that will be key to control of the upper chamber next year. Republicans must win five of those eight seats to regain control of the Senate.