At this point we’ve all seen the clips and read the somewhat unintelligible transcript from Tuesday night’s U.S. Senate Debate in Pennsylvania between Mehmet Oz and John Fetterman. Most have also seen the Fetterman campaign’s laughable spin, claiming that the Democrat did better than expected despite what they say were “delayed captions” — which, again, Fetterman requested due to auditory processing issues stemming from his stroke — the campaign claimed were “filled with errors.”
But now, the Oz campaign is calling Fetterman’s bluff and making an offer to debate again in the final dozen days of the midterm campaign with a captioner of Fetterman and his campaign’s choosing.
“We’re sorry to hear that the Fetterman campaign was unhappy with how the closed captioning system that they requested was working on Tuesday,” said Brittany Yanick, the Oz campaign’s communications director, in a statement Thursday morning. “We’re happy to do a second debate any time, and let the Fetterman campaign source a closed captioner that they believe is of better quality,” Yanick offered.
How can Fetterman refuse? If, as his campaign claims, he delivered a performance that “thrilled” despite what they claim were captioning errors, another debate would surely make the Democrat shine. But of course, Fetterman spent months sidelined from campaigning while his staffers refused debate invitations and they’re unlikely to do a re-run of Tuesday night’s mushed-together words, literally unbelievable denials of previous statements showed at the debate, and ill-timed outbursts. Especially after being less than forthcoming with Pennsylvania voters about Fetterman’s medical status and refusing to release Fetterman’s medical records. Instead, Fetterman has relied only on a letter from a doctor — who is also a Fetterman campaign donor — to certify fitness to serve a six-year term in the U.S. Senate.
So, while Fetterman likely tries to limit his off-the-cuff remarks in the final days of the midterm election cycle, Oz is again ready and willing to debate while giving even more leeway to the Fetterman campaign to give their candidate the best possible chance of being able to competently articulate his message.
“Doctor Oz agreed to seven debates,” the Republican’s campaign noted. “Unfortunately, John Fetterman agreed to do only one debate because he is a far-left fraud who holds Pennsylvania voters and the media in contempt. We would love another opportunity to talk about John Fetterman’s support for releasing convicted murderers, the fact that he lived off his parents into his late 40s, and the fact that he’s the most radical Democrat running for U.S. Senate this year,” Yanick added.
As Townhall also reported this week, the host of Tuesday night’s debate rebuked the claims of error-filled captions from Fetterman’s campaign:
In a statement, Nexstar’s Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer Gary Weitman explained that “both candidates agreed to the technical set-up for the closed captioning process weeks ago, which was implemented at the request of the Fetterman campaign.”
“Both candidates were offered the opportunity for two full rehearsals with the same equipment used in tonight’s debate;” the Nexstar statement continues before noting that “Mr. Fetterman chose to do only one. In fact,” the debate host adds, “Nexstar’s production team went to extraordinary lengths to ensure the effectiveness of the closed captioning process, and to accommodate several last-minute requests of the Fetterman campaign.”
“The closed captioning process functioned as expected during rehearsal and again during tonight’s debate,” the statement concludes. “We regret that Mr. Fetterman and his campaign feel otherwise.”