Media personalities and conservatives reacted to Democrat John Fetterman’s debate performance against Republican Mehmet Oz during Tuesday night’s debate, calling it a “sad” disaster.
As Breitbart News reported, Fetterman had a poor performance during the debate, largely due to his speech impediment resulting from a stroke earlier this year. Regularly, Fetterman struggled to give coherent answers to the moderator’s questions as he mixed up words and awkwardly stopped.
Reporter Charlotte Alter from TIME called the debate a “disaster” while Joe Scarborough of MSNBC called it “painful”.
so far it’s been a disaster for Fetterman
— Charlotte Alter (@CharlotteAlter) October 26, 2022
I spoke to Fetterman recently, and I expected him to be very bad tonight. But he was much worse than I expected (and much worse than our one-on-one conversation.)
— Charlotte Alter (@CharlotteAlter) October 26, 2022
It’s painful to watch regardless of his politics.
—Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) October 26, 2022
There’s no empathy and understanding for Fetterman’s health and recovery that changes the fact that it’s absolutely painful to watch.
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) October 26, 2022
This Fetterman-Oz debate is absolutely shocking. @DashaBurns was the only reporter who told the truth about Fetterman’s condition. But it’s so much worse than the inability to keep up with smalltalk. It’s painful to watch this.
— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) October 26, 2022
Conservatives and other media figures said Fetterman should not have accepted the debate and criticized the Democratic Party for trying to hide the candidate’s medical issues from the public eye.
I’m catching up on the debate, and it seems a lot of people owe an apology to @DashaBurns. She pointed out some very real issues. It’s not smart to ask whether Fetterman is up to the task, and it’s very reasonable for PA voters to consider that question.
— David French (@DavidAFrench) October 26, 2022
The Oz/Fetterman debate is hard to watch and I think it was a mistake to put Mr. Fetterman in that position. My heart goes out to him.
— Jonathan Reiner (@JReinerMD) October 26, 2022
It’s very sad to see Fetterman struggle with his stroke, but politically whoever is running his campaign should be fired.
— Kenny Cody (@KDCodyTN) October 26, 2022
Awkward, moderators sometimes have to interrupt Fetterman because no one knows what he’s saying
—Matt Heilman (@MattHeilman7) October 26, 2022
John Fetterman is at his worst tonight in the #PennsylvaniaDebate.
Makes Joe Biden sound like Winston Churchill.
— Addison Smith (@AddisonSmithOAN) October 26, 2022
Even though moderators are constantly cutting Fetterman to protect him from himself, there is nothing the media can do to spin this debate.
I have never seen anyone so obviously mentally/physically unfit for office as John Fetterman. #PASenateDebate
— Andrew Surabian (@Surabees) October 26, 2022
— Matt Vespa (@mVespa1) October 26, 2022
Obviously, Oz is good on TV. Very well.
Fetterman should never have agreed to debate.
— Bradley Devlin (@bradleydevlin) October 26, 2022
Shame on every journalist who attacked @DashaBurns on his Fetterman reporting, and tried to cover up what we are all witnessing now with our own eyes
—Alana Goodman (@alanagoodman) October 26, 2022
Yes, that sums it all up.
Oz was as despicable as expected, though he was smart enough not to say anything directly about Fetterman’s difficulty speaking.
But given his physical limitations (which won’t affect him in the Senate), Fetterman should never have agreed to do so https://t.co/Wf5bePenPC
— Mitchell Plitnick 🔥🕎 (@MJPlitnick) October 26, 2022
I feel sad for John Fetterman and strangely angry. The fact that his friends and family pushed him to run for office given his illnesses is cruel and unconscionable.
— John Ondrasik (@johnondrasik) October 26, 2022
This debate was a disaster for John Fetterman. Anyone who tries to claim otherwise is gaslighting to the nth degree. https://t.co/Ee8KKUjLME
—William Davis (@WillDavisDC) October 26, 2022
This “debate” is terribly sad to watch.
— Brittany Hughes (@RealBrittHughes) October 26, 2022
If I were PA Dems, I’d be furious at being misled about Fetterman by those around him. They had enough time when the stroke happened to scare Conor Lamb off or do something else.
—Mark Hemingway (@Heminator) October 26, 2022
The PA debate was one of the saddest political spectacles I have ever seen. I totally disagree with #Fettermanis political, but you’d have to be heartless if you didn’t feel bad seeing his cognitive impairment. It was like watching a car crash in slow motion.
— Todd Schnitt (@toddschnitt) October 26, 2022
I just started watching the Oz-Fetterman debate.
Fetterman is incredibly inarticulate. It’s really something.
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) October 26, 2022
@JohnFetterman is an extremely disabled stroke victim who can barely speak. The party needs to put someone else in place if they want to keep that blue seat at all costs.
— Greg J. Marchand MD (@MarchandSurgery) October 26, 2022
Not everyone was critical of Fetterman’s performance, and some of his followers even spun the event to say he won the debate by simply showing up and chastising Oz for looking cruel to the handicap. by Fettermann.
Fetterman showed courage tonight. He introduced himself. With his vulnerability out in the open, he confronted her for all to see. Ultimately, voters want to shoot for candidates who are as vulnerable as they are. Katie Hobbs could learn a thing or two from Fetterman. #not in
— Michael LaRosa (@MichaelLaRosaDC) October 26, 2022
It honestly wasn’t a big debate for Fetterman or Oz. But what really haunts me is how too many of us gloat in cruelty. As if one of us came out of this life unscathed.
— Helen Ubiñas (@NotesFromHeL) October 26, 2022
Any party affiliation aside…at least @JohnFetterman took the stage and engaged in a live prime-time debate. That’s a lot more than we can say for most congressional candidates in #NEW JERSEY. #PASenateDebate
— Briana Vannozzi (@BriVannozziNJ) October 26, 2022
No matter how much #Fetterman could have done in the #PASenateDebate -and it wasn’t great- this comment from #oz is the game.
His comments on #Abortion will be turned into countless advertisements in the last days that will target all suburban women.
Think Kansas Referendum Turnout https://t.co/f6haNIs1R1
— Conor Powell (@ConormPowell) October 26, 2022
Of course, Fetterman is capable. He is able to vote for the common good of Pennsylvanians. Judging by his performance in a TV debate – when he takes on a TV entertainer, it’s not a fair fight, after a stroke affected his speech, not his mind. What excuse does Trump have?
— Pat Ciarrocchi (@PatCiarrocchi) October 26, 2022
—Baseball by BSmile (@BSmile) October 26, 2022