Democrat John Fetterman agrees to debate Dr. Oz

Facing questions about his health, Democratic candidate John Fetterman has agreed to debate Republican Dr. Oz at least once in their Senate race before Election Day arrives.

Fetterman, who has had difficulty speaking since he suffered a stroke, said that he will debate “sometime in the middle to end of October” at a “major television station” in Pennsylvania. Politico was first to report the news.

Fetterman will debate Oz

The timeline that Fetterman laid out will likely play to his advantage, as it provides plenty of time for early voting before voters see Fetterman on the debate stage.

The Oz campaign blasted Fetterman over his non-committal language, accusing him of wanting a “secret” debate.” Oz has proposed five debates.

Fetterman had rejected Oz’s first offer to debate on September 6, accusing Oz of making light of his health condition with ironic “concessions” to make debating easier for Fetterman. But Fetterman now says it was “always our intent” to debate.

“It was just simply only ever been about addressing some of the lingering issues of the stroke, the auditory processing, and we’re going to be able to work that out,” he said.

Fetterman also alleged that Oz is not really interested in debating, but “mocking me for having a stroke because they’ve got nothing else.” But Oz has called Fetterman a “coward” for appearing to duck behind his health issues to avoid public scrutiny in what will be one of the most pivotal Senate races this year.

Or will he?

At a press conference Tuesday, Oz said that Fetterman is either afraid to defend his far-left policies, or not healthy enough to debate.

Public debate for office-seekers is a democratic tradition, and it isn’t just Oz who thinks so.

Retiring Republican Senator Pat Toomey (PA), whose seat Oz and Fetterman are fighting over, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette have also said that Fetterman must be fit enough to debate if he intends to serve in the Senate.

“Voters have a right to know whether their prospective senator can do the job — including handling the give-and-take of a vigorous debate,” the newspaper said in an editorial.

Fetterman has enjoyed double-digit leads over Oz in most polling, but the race has been tightening recently as Oz puts on the pressure.