Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Mehmet Oz has once again tried to distance himself from the sneering tone his campaign has taken with the recovery of his Democratic opponent John Fetterman from a near-fatal stroke, telling NBC in an interview Friday that he did not. he would speak to his own patients as his campaign spoke of the Democratic Senate candidate.
Oz has tried to walk a fine line between being the TV doctor who should have compassion for people dealing with health issues and the Republican candidate at a time when campaigns are mimicking the no-holds-barred approach. of former President Donald Trump to politics.
The Pennsylvania Senate contest is one of the most popular in the country, representing the best opportunity for Democrats to overturn a Senate seat in November. Polls show a tighter run, with Oz closing the electoral gap that Fetterman opened over the summer. An average of CNN polls now shows Fetterman with the support of 50% of likely voters compared to Oz’s 45%.
While Oz personally expressed empathy for Fetterman’s May stroke and his healing months, a campaign contributor said in August that Fetterman may not have had a stroke if “he had ever eaten a vegetable in his life.” another contributor defended that statement by suggesting Fetterman couldn’t hold out for more than 10 minutes and, in a mocking effort to get Fetterman to accept a debate, Oz’s campaign offered to “pay for any additional medical personnel he might have had. need waiting “.
When asked directly if Oz would speak to his own patients the way his campaign talked about Fetterman, the Republican said directly, “No.”
This isn’t the first time Oz has tried to distance himself from the people he pays to get his message across to the public, while also blatantly saying that those people may not be speaking for him.
“I can only talk about what I’m saying,” Oz said in a radio interview in late August.
“I have tremendous compassion for what John Fetterman is going through,” Oz said in an NBC interview with Dasha Burns. “Not only that, as a doctor, I appreciate the challenge, but I know this specific disorder because it is my area of specialty.”
Before running for the Senate or hosting a nationwide syndicated TV show, Oz was considered a talented and motivated cardiothoracic surgeon who regularly treated people with strokes.
Oz said he “accepted responsibility” for the way his campaign talked about Fetterman’s health and that he addressed “problems as they arise.”
“But it has its problems,” Oz said. “We should have already had a debate.”
Oz tied to focus his criticism of Fetterman’s health on transparency, urging the Democrat to release more medical information.
“When people ask me questions, and often do, about his health condition, do you know what I say, Dasha? I have no idea, “Oz said.
So far, Fetterman has refused to release more than a June letter from his doctor stating that he was fit enough to run for the Senate.
“I would say that if there is anything that has changed, I would have absolutely updated it,” Fetterman said this week. “Apart from the progress that I have made is evident”.
Fetterman spent two months out of the campaign following his stroke in May. Upon his return, his speech was sometimes uncertain and often mixed words together, which the Democrat himself acknowledged. Fetterman’s speech, however, has improved in recent months and has picked up on his campaign schedule. As he has done since returning to the election campaign, the candidate continues to use subtitles in interviews.
Oz and Fetterman agreed on a debate in the Senate key competition: an October 25 meeting hosted by Nexstar Television.