Fetterman Oz Debate Insights

Five months after a stroke nearly took his life, Pennsylvania's Democratic Senate candidate, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, had a fight with Dr. Mehmet Oz in their only debate on Tuesday.

They fought over disagreeing sharply over abortion, the economy, and other partisan topics as Mr. Fetterman sought to reassure voters of his suitability to serve.

Standing at red and blue lecterns in a Harrisburg, Pa., TV studio, the two men couldn't hide their hatred or disputes.

Dr. Oz used crime to frame himself as a centrist contender. Mr. Fetterman called Dr. Oz a wealthy outsider unaware of Pennsylvania's economic difficulties.

The discussion gained prominence due to Mr. Fetterman's stroke and recuperation. Mr. Fetterman tackled the issue early on.

“Let’s also talk about the elephant in the room: I had a stroke,” he said in his opening remarks, adding of his opponent, “He’ll never let me forget that.”

The debate  held under unusual conditions. Over the moderators were two 70-inch monitors that displayed questions and replies in near real time.

Professional typists were on hand to transcribe the argument for Mr. Fetterman, who has auditory processing difficulties after a stroke.

Mr. Fetterman's words were frequently halting, indicating that he was either reading or reaching for a phrase or word.

But he was also fluent enough to outline the Democratic vision for a state that might decide Senate majority throughout the course of the hour.

Dr. Oz, the Republican nominee and a former TV host, showed that his years in front of the camera had made him sharp and confident.