Wednesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre heaped praise on Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman for his performance in Tuesday night’s debate against Republican Dr. Oz.
Jean-Pierre stated at the Wednesday afternoon news briefing, “The president has found him to be an impressive, tremendously intelligent, and gifted somebody who is just as competent as ever of carrying out his tasks.”
The symptoms of Fetterman’s May stroke were on plain display during his hour-long debate with Oz in Harrisburg, as he garbled comments and skipped words, causing anxiety among Democrats and liberal media personalities.
Jean-Pierre stated that she was unable to confirm whether Biden viewed any of the exchanges.
So I tried to get an answer for you, I went to the White House, but as you all know, the president had a very busy morning with the Israeli president who was in town. So I was unable to determine if he was able to see last night’s debate,’ the press secretary stated.
Wednesday was filled with events for Vice President Joe Biden, including an announcement on “junk fees” and meetings with Israeli President Isaac Herzog and U.S. military chiefs, but Fetterman’s questionable performance dominated the political news.
Jean-Pierre said, “I will say that the president looks forward to working with the lieutenant governor when he is in the Senate.” I could also say that, in his interactions with Lt. Gov. Fetterman, he has found the lieutenant governor to be a staunch and genuine supporter for the middle class.
She said, “And as you know, he has flown many times to Pennsylvania, where they have held events together, and he’s looking forward to working with him again.”
Jean-Pierre stated that the Senate candidate, who is in one of the tightest contests that might determine whether Democrats retain the upper chamber, was responsible for disclosing his whole medical history.
She responded, “I’ve been asked this question and I’ll defer to the lieutenant governor on this matter.”
Additionally, she was asked if Biden had indicated worry for Fetterman’s health.
She stated that Biden respects the honesty and courage he has witnessed from the lieutenant governor throughout the course of their conversations and relationship.
At the debate and at campaign events, Fetterman addressed the ‘elephant in the room,’ his stroke, which left him with ‘auditory processing’ difficulties.
During yesterday night’s debate, he utilized closed captioning technology.
One reporter asked Jean-Pierre if it was a significant moment for the acceptance of those with disabilities into the public realm.
On the debate stage, Fetterman repeatedly declined to give a complete medical record to the public.
Previously, he yielded to pressure and produced a second doctor’s note declaring his fitness to serve.
Jean-Pierre stated, “And as it relates to your question concerning his health, we have seen the same statements from independent medical specialists that you all have highlighted, namely that his improved symptoms have to do with his speech and hearing and have nothing to do with his cognitive function.”
She also demurred when asked if the president still believes the Democrats can hold onto the Senate following Fetterman’s tumultuous debate, despite the bright picture given by Biden just days prior.
She responded, “I’m not going to engage in analysis here.” There are political experts out there that are plainly doing this every day for the next two weeks or less than two weeks.
In contrast to his predecessors, Biden has mainly avoided campaigning, with Pennsylvania being the exception.
On Friday, he hopes to raise donations in Philadelphia with Vice President Kamala Harris.
This week, Axios revealed that Biden will join former President Barack Obama in Pennsylvania on November 5 to assist Fetterman and governor candidate Josh Shapiro in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Former President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he will hold a rally in Latrobe, Pennsylvania on November 5; he has supported both Oz and GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano since the Pennsylvania GOP primary.