Oz Questions Senate Opponent’s Physical Health, Challenges Him to 5 Debates

Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz is criticizing his Democratic opponent, Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, for his prolonged absence from the campaign trail and publicly questioning whether he is healthy enough to serve as senator for the state.

In a tweet Friday, Oz challenged Fetterman to a series of debates, arguing that voters should be given the opportunity to hear from their Senate candidates.

“I’ve officially committed to 5 moderated debates across Pennsylvania,” Oz wrote. “Fetterman has agreed to 0. It’s time for Fetterman to show up. Pennsylvanians deserve to hear from their candidates.”

Fetterman campaign strategist Rebecca Katz later said the lieutenant governor was prepared to debate Oz, but that he wasn’t going to do it “on Oz’s terms.”

“John is up for debating Oz — but we’re not going to do this on Oz’s terms,” Katz said. “A millionaire celebrity like Dr. Oz is probably used to pushing people around and getting his own way, but he’s not going to be able to bully John Fetterman.”

For months, Republicans have argued that Fetterman, who suffered a stroke in May and has since been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, is not fit to serve as a senator for Pennsylvania. Since his health scare earlier this year, Fetterman has held no physical campaign events, opting to instead connect with voters through social media.

Friday marked the first campaign event Fetterman has held since mid-May, a small rally in Erie County, Pennsylvania. Despite his prolonged absence and the questions circulating about his physical health, Fetterman has claimed that he doesn’t have any “physical limits” that would prevent him from serving as senator.

Fetterman and Oz are currently locked in a tight race to replace Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) in Congress. Polls have consistently shown Fetterman with a slight lead over Oz, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump during the GOP primary, although some have indicated the race has tightened in recent weeks.

Hoping to reclaim control of the Senate after November’s midterms, Republicans view the Pennsylvania Senate race as crucial for the party’s legislative hopes.