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Home PENNSYLVANIA John Fetterman holds Senate campaign rally in Indiana, Pa.

John Fetterman holds Senate campaign rally in Indiana, Pa.

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman made a campaign stop in Indiana County Tuesday night, as he continues his quest to replace retiring Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey. During a brief speech on Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s campus, Fetterman railed against his opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz, as the Republican candidate and his allies continued to raise questions about Fetterman’s health.”I truly, truly hope that you do not have a doctor in your life laughing at you, making fun of saying that you can’t do the job that you have,” Fetterman said to the crowd of hundreds of supporters.Fetterman, who suffered a stroke in May, has acknowledged “auditory processing” issues as the Democratic candidate continues his recovery.”Sometimes I might miss a word and sometimes I might mush two words together,” Fetterman said.Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 reporter Mike Valente spoke to supporters before and after Fetterman’s speech, which lasted less than 10 minutes.Several supporters said they felt confident in Fetterman’s ability to serve in the U.S. Senate and were not worried after hearing the candidate speak Tuesday.”He was quite clear and concise,” said Thomas Dembosky, a veteran from Indiana County.Don Romanow, another event attendee, criticized Oz’s campaign for how it has operated in regard to Fetterman’s health.”To turn around and use a medical condition as a political tool, I think, is sad,” Romanow said. “You’re grasping for straws. Just deal with the issues.”Oz and his campaign team say they do want to deal with the issues, citing the Republican candidate’s repeated requests for additional debates.The two campaigns have agreed to debate on Oct. 25, during which Fetterman will have a closed captioning system available to help ameliorate any auditory processing issues that might arise. Oz’s campaign has outlined three conditions it wants Fetterman to agree to, including the disclosure of the closed captioning system to the audience at the top of the debate and the request that the debate is 90 minutes instead of 60 minutes.Valente asked Fetterman’s campaign again Tuesday whether he will agree to the conditions, but an answer was not given by the time this article was published.In a statement following the rally Tuesday, Oz campaign spokesperson Brittany Yanick said the following:”Fetterman cannot have it both ways anymore. If he is able to speak in front of large crowds, he’s either healthy enough to debate and wants to hide his radical record, or he’s lying about his health. He needs to be honest and transparent with Pennsylvanians.”In an interview last week, second lady of Pennsylvania Gisele Fetterman told Valente that her husband “feels better than before his stroke.””And every day he’s even better,” she said.The candidate’s speech touched on familiar themes that have underpinned his campaign: preserving reproductive rights and support for workers and unions.Standing close to the front of the line for about an hour before the rally, Cindy Soltys, of Latrobe, said she believes Fetterman will be an advocate for women if elected.”I know that a lot of women are registering to vote,” Soltys said. “So I’m thinking that women on both sides are energized on the topic of abortion rights.”A handful of Oz supporters held signs for their candidate near the Kovalchick Complex and Convention Center, where the rally was being held.Indiana County is a red county, where former President Donald Trump won in 2020 by 38 percentage points.

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman made a campaign stop in Indiana County Tuesday night, as he continues his quest to replace retiring Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey.

During a brief speech on Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s campus, Fetterman railed against his opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz, as the Republican candidate and his allies continued to raise questions about Fetterman’s health.

“I truly, truly hope that you do not have a doctor in your life laughing at you, making fun of [a stroke] saying that you can’t do the job that you have,” Fetterman said to the crowd of hundreds of supporters.

Fetterman, who suffered a stroke in May, has acknowledged “auditory processing” issues as the Democratic candidate continues his recovery.

“Sometimes I might miss a word and sometimes I might mush two words together,” Fetterman said.

Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 reporter Mike Valente spoke to supporters before and after Fetterman’s speech, which lasted less than 10 minutes.

Several supporters said they felt confident in Fetterman’s ability to serve in the U.S. Senate and were not worried after hearing the candidate speak Tuesday.

“He was quite clear and concise,” said Thomas Dembosky, a veteran from Indiana County.

Don Romanow, another event attendee, criticized Oz’s campaign for how it has operated in regard to Fetterman’s health.

“To turn around and use a medical condition as a political tool, I think, is sad,” Romanow said. “You’re grasping for straws. Just deal with the issues.”

Oz and his campaign team say they do want to deal with the issues, citing the Republican candidate’s repeated requests for additional debates.

The two campaigns have agreed to debate on Oct. 25, during which Fetterman will have a closed captioning system available to help ameliorate any auditory processing issues that might arise. Oz’s campaign has outlined three conditions it wants Fetterman to agree to, including the disclosure of the closed captioning system to the audience at the top of the debate and the request that the debate is 90 minutes instead of 60 minutes.

Valente asked Fetterman’s campaign again Tuesday whether he will agree to the conditions, but an answer was not given by the time this article was published.

In a statement following the rally Tuesday, Oz campaign spokesperson Brittany Yanick said the following:

“Fetterman cannot have it both ways anymore. If he is able to speak in front of large crowds, he’s either healthy enough to debate and wants to hide his radical record, or he’s lying about his health. He needs to be honest and transparent with Pennsylvanians.”

In an interview last week, second lady of Pennsylvania Gisele Fetterman told Valente that her husband “feels better than before his stroke.”

“And every day he’s even better,” she said.

The candidate’s speech touched on familiar themes that have underpinned his campaign: preserving reproductive rights and support for workers and unions.

Standing close to the front of the line for about an hour before the rally, Cindy Soltys, of Latrobe, said she believes Fetterman will be an advocate for women if elected.

“I know that a lot of women are registering to vote,” Soltys said. “So I’m thinking that women on both sides are energized on the topic of abortion rights.”

A handful of Oz supporters held signs for their candidate near the Kovalchick Complex and Convention Center, where the rally was being held.

Indiana County is a red county, where former President Donald Trump won in 2020 by 38 percentage points.



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