In the wake of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman’s (PA) disastrous performance in Tuesday night’s debate, social media was ablaze with commentary from all sides of the political spectrum.
After suffering a stroke earlier this year, Fetterman has been subject to questions about his ability to fulfill the duties of his office. He has shown that he has trouble understanding words and has trouble speaking, and he frequently needs conversations to be transcribed so that he can follow along.
The Democratic nominee called the Republican nominee a liar, while the Republican nominee called the Democratic nominee a radical leftist on issues ranging from abortion and crime to fracking and inflation. While Oz, a seasoned TV presenter, aggressively pressured Fetterman and periodically ran over his allotted time, the latter stuttered and gave choppy replies.
Oz criticized Fetterman for his absence from the campaign, citing several examples from meetings he has had with Pennsylvanians over the previous few months. During the debate, Fetterman did not promise to disclose his medical records. In response, Fetterman attacked Oz for remaining in New Jersey for so long. Fetterman struggled to keep his wits about him despite the fact that a closed captioning system had been set up behind the moderators to help his auditory processing.
In the wake of the discussion, analysts on cable news, social media, and the betting markets all agreed that Fetterman’s health problems would play a big role in deciding the election’s outcome.
It’s impossible to spin this discussion, political consultant Andrew Surabian tweeted, even with the moderators cutting Fetterman off repeatedly to save him from himself. Never before have I met a candidate for public office who was so blatantly intellectually and physically unfit as John Fetterman.
“I’ve honestly never seen anything like this,” Josh Holmes, a PR professional, wrote. The level of partisanship needed to support Fetterman at this point should be tested in a controlled environment.
Former White House advisor Stephen Miller tweeted, “Just so we’re all clear: it was Fetterman WITH weeks of planning and specialist computer support throughout.” What you just saw was, therefore, the pinnacle of Fetterman’s abilities. That’s scary in and of itself.”
Donald Trump Jr. tweeted, “Holy s***, Fetterman is fried.”
“Tap out, @JohnFetterman,” tweeted Richard Grenell, a former acting director of national intelligence. “I can’t bear to see this.”
I can’t find humor in this. It shouldn’t be made fun of in any way. A political pundit, Viva Frei, tweeted that it was “genuinely disturbing.” To wit: “And if Fetterman gets elected, it will indicate the extent to which Democrat voters are eager to abuse vulnerable persons for political goals.”
Mike Cernovich, a political pundit, tweeted, “The media shielded this guy.” As the saying goes, “There’s no bottom.”
After speaking with Fetterman, TIME magazine reporter Charlotte Alter tweeted, “I anticipated him to be extremely horrible tonight.” But he turned out to be a lot worse than I had anticipated.
Just 20 minutes into this debate, it’s impossible to imagine this race not turning drastically,” media expert Joe Concha tweeted. Some of Fetterman’s claims are completely incoherent.
“John Fetterman’s capacity to communicate is substantially diminished,” MSNBC News’ Joe Scarborough wrote in a tweet. Voters in Pennsylvania “will be discussing this clear reality even though many in the media will not.”
Scarborough continued, “This is terrible to see regardless of one’s politics.”
British analyst Piers Morgan tweeted, “That #PASenateDebate was difficult to watch.” I’m sorry John Fetterman had a stroke, but it’s cruel of his campaign to put him on display like this when it’s obvious he can’t be a fully productive senator or even participate in TV debates. That’s why he has to go away.
Sports pundit Clay Travis tweeted, “This is the worst performance by any contender I have seen in any debate.” If this were a boxing bout, both fighters would drop the gloves. It’s unfortunate that this has happened. Everyone involved with @JohnFetterman’s campaign should be embarrassed that they allowed this to happen.