Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who is running for a Senate seat there, told Politico he would face off against his Republican opponent, Mehmet Oz, in a debate.
Facing increasing criticism from Oz, Fetterman announced he would commit to a series of debates. In May, Fetterman suffered a stroke.
But as Fetterman maintains: "We're absolutely going to debate Dr. Oz, and that was really always our intent to do that. 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."
While the lieutenant governor declined to specify an exact date for such debates, Fetterman says it would likely "be sometime in the middle to end of October" on a "major television station."
Fetterman also adds that his campaign is looking into using closed caption monitoring — to read from — while he recovers from his stroke.
"We're just exploring that," the Pennsylvania Senate hopeful said of the closed captioning. "I have every ability to talk about all of these issues and have a full debate. And that's really just the one lingering issue of the stroke — that some of my hearing was damaged a little bit, but it's continuing to get better and better and better every day."
Meanwhile, according to The Hill, Oz's campaign team, which has pushed for a debate, jested at the announcement, dubbing it a "secret debate."
"BIG NEWS!" Oz's campaign spokeswoman Brittany Yanick wrote in a statement. "John Fetterman has agreed to debate at a SECRET DEBATE. We don't know WHERE. We don't know WHEN. We don't know HOW. It's a big SECRET!"
"John Fetterman's campaign," she adds, "is embarrassing themselves. Let's be clear — Dr. Oz's campaign won't agree to a SECRET debate. It has to be a REAL one with REAL journalists asking REAL questions. Sorry John — imaginary debates don't count!"
Recently, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report moved its rating of the race from "toss up" to "lean Democrat."
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