Democratic Senate Candidate John Fetterman Says Side Effects Are Temporary After Suffering Stroke

John Fetterman
John Fetterman.Getty

In the hotly contested race for a Pennsylvania Senate seat, Democratic candidate John Fetterman says his side effects from a stroke are temporary.

Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman was seen stuttering and searching for words Tuesday night in his first one-on-one interview since suffering a stroke in May.

Fetterman is locked in crucial Pennsylvania race against entertainment doctor and Republican opponent Mehmet Oz that could decide control of the chamber.

Fetterman struggles to understand what he hears and to speak clearly. In an interview broadcast Tuesday by NBC, Fetterman used a closed-captioning device to read questions put to him. He insisted his side effects are temporary and that in January, “I’m going [to] be much better – and Dr. Oz is still going to be a fraud.”

The bitter contest has seen Oz taunt Fetterman immediately after his stroke, saying on Twitter, “If John Fetterman had ever eaten a vegetable in his life, then maybe he wouldn’t have had a major stroke."’

Fetterman, who resumed his duties as Pennsylvania's lieutenant general this summer, shot back that Oz was making fun of a stroke victim.

In Tuesday's broadcast, Fetterman described his current limitations.

"I sometimes will hear things in a way that’s not perfectly clear. So I use captioning so I’m able to see what you’re saying on the captioning,” he said.

He was asked why he has not released his medical records or made his doctors available for interviews.

“I feel like we have been very transparent in a lot of different ways,” Fetterman said. “When our doctor has already given a letter saying that I’m able to serve and to be running. And then I think there’s — you can’t be any more transparent than standing up on a stage with 3,000 people and having a speech without a teleprompter and just being — and putting everything and yourself out there like that. I think that’s as transparent as everyone in Pennsylvania can see.”

The candidate resumed public speaking this summer.

This week, the Real Clear Politics average of polls suggested Fetterman has a 3.7% point lead, much smaller than a double-digit lead he had after the contentious GOP primary won by Oz.

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