Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the Democratic nominee for Senate, said Wednesday he would participate in one debate with Republican Mehmet Oz, who had made an issue of his opponent’s willingness to face him because Fetterman continues to recover from a serious stroke. The face-to-face meeting is scheduled for Oct. 25.
“We said from the start that we’d do a debate, which John reiterated very clearly again last week,” Rebecca Katz, senior adviser to the Fetterman campaign, said in a statement. “Enough distractions, it’s time to talk about the issues.”
But the campaigns are already sparring over terms of the debate, which would come two weeks before the general election, after Fetterman’s campaign asked for certain conditions to accommodate his continued recovery.
Oz has made Fetterman’s willingness to debate a central attack over the last several weeks, accusing the Democrat of either lying about the severity of his health or of being afraid to debate.
Fetterman suffered a near-fatal stroke days before the May primary, sidelining him from the campaign trail for most of the summer. He has eased back into some in-person activities, but has acknowledged that some of his communication processing is still shaky and has resisted any in-person media interviews.