Fetterman agrees to a live debate with Oz in late October
Pennsylvania Democratic Senate nominee John Fetterman has committed to a televised debate with his Republican challenger, Dr. Mehmet Oz, next month.
The debate will be hosted by Nexstar Television in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and is scheduled to take place Oct. 25, two weeks before election day Nov. 8. The debate will be broadcast throughout Pennsylvania and featured live on local network affiliates that cover all of the state’s 67 counties.
“We said from the start that we’d do a debate, which John reiterated very clearly again last week. Enough distractions, it’s time to talk about the issues,” Rebecca Katz, senior advisor to the Fetterman campaign, said in a statement. “While John will be debating Dr. Oz next month, Oz doesn’t have to wait that long to be honest with Pennsylvania voters about where he really stands on abortion. It’s a simple question, doctor: Would you vote for the Republicans’ national abortion ban, or would you vote against it?”
Last week, Fetterman agreed to debate Oz, but did not make it clear which debate he would engage in.
Fetterman had previously declined to take part in a debate during the first week of September, which the Oz campaign said was proof he was either not healthy enough to debate, or afraid to defend his policies. The Oz team said Fetterman’s refusal to debate was “insulting” Pennsylvania voters’ intelligence.
Oz took aim at Fetterman over his refusal to debate during a recent interview with Fox News Digital, saying that he is either scared to present his views to voters, or is unable to debate because of poor health following his May stroke.
“John Fetterman has been ducking, dodging these debates, which is insulting to the voters of Pennsylvania,” Oz told Fox News Digital. “And he has to own the reasons for his desire to avoid a debate with me. Either he’s healthy, which he says he is, and doesn’t want to answer for his radical positions in past statements, or he’s lying about his health.”
“Either way, the voters of Pennsylvania deserve an answer, and I think they deserve that answer pretty quickly, since the absentee ballots will be mailed out in the next two to three weeks,” Oz added.
In February, Fetterman said in a tweet that debates were “an important part” of the Democratic primary for Senate.
“Debates are an important part of this primary,” Fetterman wrote in a February tweet, prior to the Democratic primary election for the Senate seat. “We believe voters deserve no fewer than three network televised debates – including all candidates who make the ballot – before major media markets across PA.”
Fox News’ Thomas Phippen contributed to this report.