In Tuesday night’s debate Pennsylvania Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz went head to head in their race for a pivotal Senate seat. The two were questioned about hot topics including abortion, economics, immigration and more. While Fetterman encountered some challenges due to his prior stroke, Oz used his TV charm to answer some questions ambiguously.
Fetterman opened the debate by saying “good night” to the audience then accused Oz of being a liar.
“If he’s on TV, he’s lying. He did that during his career on his TV show. He’s done that during his campaign about lying about our record here. And he’s also lying probably during this debate,” Fetterman said.
Then Fetterman addressed “the elephant in the room,” his stroke, and used it as a campaign declaration.
“It [the stroke] knocked me down. But I’m going to keep coming back up. And this campaign is all about, to me, is about fighting for everyone in Pennsylvania that ever got knocked down, that needs to get back up,” Fetterman said, “And fighting for all forgotten communities all across Pennsylvania that also got knocked down that needs to keep get back up.”
In Oz’s opening statement he discussed his desire to bring the parties together and then he critiqued Fetterman’s view on crime and punishment.
“I want to bring civility, balance, all the things that you want to see because you’ve been telling it to me on the campaign trail,” Oz said. “And by doing that, we can bring us together in a way that has not been done of late. Democrats, Republicans talking to each other.”
Economics came up next, specifically inflation. Oz said Fetterman wants to raise taxes though he had not paid his own taxes.
“He hasn’t paid his own taxes 67 times, but he is raising mine and yours,” Oz said.
Fetterman was given a rebuttal and he said Oz was lying then explained that he was participating in non-profit activity.
“It was helping two students 17 years ago to help them buy their own homes. They didn’t pay the bills and it got paid and it has never been an issue in any of the campaign before. It was all about nonprofit,” Fetterman said.
After finishing their debate about economics the questioning moved to a more sensitive topic, abortion.
Oz said he thinks the federal government should not interfere with abortion, but did not confirm nor deny if he thinks abortion should be banned despite holding to such a position in the past.
Fetterman said he would fight for Roe v. Wade to be law.
When asked about fracking, Fetterman had a bit of a folly. He said he has “always supported fracking” but Lisa Sylvester cited a 2018 interview where Fetterman said he “does not support fracking at all.”
“Oh, I do support fracking. I support fracking, and I stand, and I do support fracking,’ Fetterman replied.
Oz said he has “consistently” supported fracking.
Oz said the border a “catastrophe” and addressed the multitude of narcotics issues surrounding illegal immigration. Fetterman took a softer approach to the border crisis which Oz called him out on.
“I believe we have to develop a comprehensive and bipartisan solution to address our issue here for immigration here in our nation,” Fetterman said.
“John’s not addressing the elephant in the room, fentanyl,” Oz retorted.
Fetterman confirmed he would support Biden if he runs again and Oz said he would support Trump if he runs again as well.
Both of the candidates promised to defend the Social Security Fund for senior citizens. However, their views on student loans clash. Oz would like to find ways to reduce the cost of education but is not in favor of loans being paid by the government. In contrast, Fetterman does support student loan forgiveness.
Dennis Owens ended the debate on a light-hearted note, asking the candidates if they supported the Steelers or Eagles in the NFL. Once again the candidates disagreed with Oz for the Eagles and Fetterman for the Steelers.
To watch the full debate, click here.