Latest News 13-10-2022 09:16 7 Views

Fetterman’s health not a problem for Senate Dems after stroke: ‘Ready for the job’

Two top Democratic senators said Wednesday that they believe Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman is fit to serve, despite worries about the effects of a stroke he suffered earlier this year.

'Yes, I do,' Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said when asked if he thinks Fetterman's health is good enough to be a senator.

Fetterman until recently avoided in-person interviews due to audio processing issues resulting from his stroke. But Durbin said he spoke directly with the candidate this week.

'I was on the phone with him yesterday, had a long conversation with him,' Durbin said. 'I've seen him in Chicago, invited him to come in for a fundraiser. John is ready for this job.'

Fetterman is facing off against GOP nominee Mehmet Oz in what is widely considered one of the most important Senate races in the country. But the Democrat kept a limited campaign schedule for much of the race while recovering from his stroke.

NBC News correspondent Dasha Burns reported Tuesday that Fetterman had a difficult time understanding small-talk ahead of her interview with him. During the interview, Fetterman required the assistance of closed-captioning technology so that he could read Burns' questions.

Fetterman is also expected to use closed captioning during a debate with Oz later this month. The candidate, however, says he doesn't think the stroke will impact his ability to serve.

'Recovering from a stroke in public isn’t easy,' he tweeted Wednesday. 'But in January, I’m going to be much better — and Dr. Oz will still be a fraud.'

Oz's campaign has said Fetterman isn't being forthcoming enough about his health. The only information Fetterman has provided about his condition is a letter from his doctor from months ago.

'Either John Fetterman is not being transparent about his health or he wants to hide his radical positions on everything from crime to the economy. Sadly, this is nothing new — Fetterman was an absentee mayor, an absentee lieutenant governor and now is an absentee candidate,' Oz senior communications adviser Rachel Tripp told Fox News Digital last week.

But Durbin and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said there's no indication that Fetterman won't be able to serve.

'It's true that he is going through a rehabilitation. And he's making great progress physically, he feels he's 100 percent,' Durbin said. 'And when it comes to expressing himself, he's making progress every day. He's running for the Senate, and I hope the people of Pennsylvania [give him] that chance.'

'I'm not a physician, but I believe he is healthy,' Blumenthal said Wednesday. 'Based on what I've seen and heard — no, I'm not here to be an expert — but the information that I've received is he's perfectly healthy and capable of serving the United States Senate.'

The Senate is in a 50-50 deadlock, meaning if either Republicans or Democrats net one seat in the midterms they'll have outright control of the chamber. Currently, Democrats hold a de facto majority because Vice President Kamala Harris is able to break ties on party-line votes.

Fox News' Nikolas Lanum contributed to this report.

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