OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Democrats were quick to defend Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman after what many believed was a disastrous interview.
Since the candidate suffered a stroke he has avoided major media interviews, other than on MSNBC which is friendly territory.
But on Tuesday he did give am I’m person interview, but relied on closed captioning from a computer screen because he said he is unable to hear questions correctly.
“In small talk before the interview, without captioning, it wasn’t clear he was understanding our conversation,” NBC News correspondent Dasha Burns said to Lester Holt on “NBC Nightly News” report.
“I don’t think it’s going to have an impact,” the Democrat candidate said. “I feel like I’m gonna get better and better – every day. And by January, I’m going [to] be, you know, much better. And Dr. Oz is still going to be a fraud.”
But he did admit that the stroke has changed his life as he said that “everything about it is changed.”
“I sometimes will hear things in a way that’s not perfectly clear. So I use captioning so I’m able to see what you’re saying on the captioning,” the Democrat said.
“But it gets much, much better where I take in a lot,” he said. “But to be precise, I use captioning, so that’s really the maiming, excuse me, that’s the major challenge. And every now and then I’ll miss a word. Every now and then. Or sometimes I’ll maybe mush two words together. But as long as I have captioning, I’m able to understand exactly what’s being asked.”
“We’ve asked for your medical records. We’ve asked to have a conversation with someone from your medical team, to interview your physician. You’ve declined those requests. Why?” the reporter said.
“I feel like we have been very transparent in a lot of different ways,” Fetterman said. “When our doctor has already given a letter saying that I’m able to serve and to be running,” he said as the reporter noted hat the letter came six months ago and said “Don’t voters deserve to know your status now?”
““As I said, being in front of thousands and thousands of people and having interviews and getting around all across Pennsylvania, that gives everybody– and the voters decide if they think that’s really the issue,” he said.
“And then I think there’s – you can’t be any more transparent than standing up on a stage with 3,000 people and having a speech without a teleprompter and just being – and putting everything and yourself out there like that. I think that’s as transparent as everyone in Pennsylvania can see,” he said.
He also talked about the movie “Shawshank Redemption” to defend his position on giving clemency to some convicted criminals.
“If you, at the end of the movie, you would vote to have Morgan Freeman’s character die in prison, then that’s really those – that’s the choice,” the candidate said. “I haven’t met a single person that’s said, ‘Yeah, Morgan Freeman should die in prison.’ It’s all a choice on redemption and giving somebody a chance to not die in prison that is no of any danger to the public whatsoever.”
NBC: “Can voters trust that you will be ready to do this job?”
Fetterman: “Yeah, of course,” after reading the question off a giant MacBook that he needs to understand what is being said to him. pic.twitter.com/McBRfyd3R3
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) October 11, 2022
NBC: “We’ve asked for your medical records… you’ve declined. Why?”
Fetterman: “Our doctor has already given a record saying I’m ready to serve.”
NBC: “That letter was six months ago. Don’t voters deserve to know your status now?”
Fetterman: I do speeches and give interviews pic.twitter.com/5yDNvaeYdN
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) October 11, 2022
And, he said, he would debate his Republican opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz, on October 25.
“This is a rough clip for @JohnFetterman, will only fuel questions about his health,” author Jonathan Martin said.
This is a rough clip for @JohnFetterman, will only fuel questions about his health > https://t.co/wulYRvHyKF
— Jonathan Martin (@jmart) October 12, 2022
But liberal reporters quickly rushed to defend him.
“Sorry to say but I talked to @JohnFetterman for over an hour without stop or any aides and this is just nonsense. Maybe this reporter is just bad at small talk,” Kara Swisher of Vox said.
Sorry to say but I talked to @JohnFetterman for over an hour without stop or any aides and this is just nonsense. Maybe this reporter is just bad at small talk. https://t.co/CX9B7qWUaS
— Kara Swisher (@karaswisher) October 12, 2022
“Here’s my interview with @JohnFetterman from a few days ago. The notion that he wasn’t able to understand is mind-numbingly false,” Brian Tyler Cohen, a liberal YouTuber, said.
Here’s my interview with @JohnFetterman from a few days ago. The notion that he wasn’t able to understand is mind-numbingly false. https://t.co/lUBG7JyutH https://t.co/DpDW0BahJO
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) October 12, 2022
“I interviewed @JohnFetterman here, he understood everything I was saying and he was funny,” Molly Jong-Fast said.
I interviewed @JohnFetterman here, he understood everything I was saying and he was funny https://t.co/NTITXDtqxY https://t.co/nMhIXMvbTY
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) October 12, 2022
This clip makes it abundantly obvious Fetterman has no cognitive issues. He only has mild speech and hearing issues.
My wife has severe hearing loss. Without accommodations she sometimes struggles with this too, in the same way Fetterman is doing here. But she is 100% all there. https://t.co/S84cFyuagS
— Matthew Chapman (@fawfulfan) October 12, 2022
“This clip makes it abundantly obvious Fetterman has no cognitive issues. He only has mild speech and hearing issues. My wife has severe hearing loss. Without accommodations she sometimes struggles with this too, in the same way Fetterman is doing here. But she is 100% all there,” reporter Matthew Chapman said.