Democrat candidate John Fetterman and Republican candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz squared off in the Pennsylvania Senate debate Tuesday evening.
Fetterman waited until the last minute to debate Oz because he can barely speak after his massive stroke in May.
John Fetterman used a monitor to help him through Tuesday night’s debate and he still fell apart.
John Fetterman: "My doctoral believes that I’m fit to be serving and that’s what I believe is where I’m standing."
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) October 26, 2022
Fetterman’s Comms Director, Joe Calvello jumped on stage for some post-debate remarks to the media.
It didn’t go well.
Calvello dropped F bombs as he defended Fetterman’s disastrous debate performance.
“For a guy who was just in the hospital months ago, he took it to Dr. Oz pretty f*cking hard tonight,” Joe Calvello said.
Video: (warning language)
The spin got a little heated at times.
For those who don’t like curse words in their feeds skip this video. pic.twitter.com/ccAwjJdEPl
— Oliver Morrison (@ORMorrison) October 26, 2022
After Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman had difficulty speaking during his highly anticipated debate with Mehmet Oz, the stroke survivor’s campaign blamed the captioning system provided for him as being “delayed” and “filled with errors.”
Nexstar’s communications chief said both candidates were given a chance to test the system twice, but Fetterman chose to only do one rehearsal.
Fetterman is still recovering from a stroke he suffered in May. The debate included closed captioning as an accommodation. Ahead of the debate, both campaigns agreed to have everything the moderators and Oz said typed out on a large screen by captioners providing live transcriptions.
The organizer of the sole debate between John Fetterman and Dr. Mehmet Oz fired back after Fetterman’s campaign alleged that the closed captioning system deployed to assist the stroke survivor was slow and “riddled with errors.”
Fetterman’s camp made the allegations in a statement just after the Pennsylvania Democratic lieutenant governor’s disastrous debate performance Tuesday night, which the campaign praised.
“We are thrilled with John’s performance. He did remarkably well tonight – especially when you consider that he’s still recovering from a stroke and was working off of delayed captions filled with errors,” Fetterman communications director Joe Calvello told reporters.
“John won countless exchanges, counter-punched aggressively, and pushed back on Oz’s cruelty and attacks,” Calvello said.
The host of the debate responded to the Fetterman campaign with fire, knocking down their excuses and stating the system worked as expected.
“It is unfortunate that Mr. Fetterman is now criticizing the closed captioning process employed by Nexstar during tonight’s debate,” Nexstar communications chief Gary Weitman said in a statement.
“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; Mr. Fetterman chose to do only one,” the statement continues.
Weitman concludes by definitively stating that the closed captioning system functioned “as expected” during the live debate.
“The closed captioning process functioned as expected during rehearsal and again during tonight’s debate. We regret that Mr. Fetterman and his campaign feel otherwise,” Weitman said.