John Fetterman Attends Ritzy Hamptons Fundraiser While Continuing To Duck Debates

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Democratic Senate nominee and Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman attended a campaign fundraiser at a Hamptons home Aug. 19, even as he has conducted limited public appearances while continuing to cover from a stroke.

Fetterman has held just two public appearances since suffering a stroke in March. During speeches in Erie and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Fetterman took shots at Republican opponent Mehmet Oz’s wealth and primary New Jersey residence. Fetterman spoke haltingly and stumbled over his words in both speeches, and he has acknowledged working with a speech therapist.

Joe Calvello, a spokesman for Fetterman, defended the appearance in a Wednesday statement to ABC News, which first reported on the event. An Instagram account showing Fetterman in the Hamptons has since been made private.

“The only reason a dude like John would ever go to the Hamptons is because his campaign needs to raise money to fight back against the unprecedented onslaught of attacks and negative ads from Dr. Oz and his rich friends,” Calvello said.

One fundraiser attendee reportedly works at the Cassia Group, a holding company that advises petroleum companies worldwide. Fetterman has called on the federal government to prosecute oil CEOs for “artificially driving up prices.” His campaign website describes climate change as an “existential threat,” and he supports “transition[ing] to clean energy as quickly as possible.” (RELATED: Dem PA Senatorial Candidate John Fetterman Calls For ‘Prosecuting’ Oil, Grocery CEOs)

Fetterman has out-raised Oz, both inside and outside of Pennsylvania, sparking worries for the GOP. The Democrat tweeted on Wednesday that “Taking corporate [cash] has never been my Style.”

The Oz campaign has repeatedly questioned Fetterman’s health, proposing a series of five debates. Fetterman declined the Oz campaign’s offer, as well as an offer from KDKA Pittsburgh, the local CBS News affiliate. Communications staffers for Oz have claimed Fetterman is “too sick” to debate, adding that “he wouldn’t have had a major stroke” if he “had ever eaten a vegetable in his life.”

Fetterman acknowledged he is still recovering from the stroke, while claiming Oz is refusing to take the campaign seriously.

“My recovery may be a joke to Dr. Oz and his team, but it’s real for me,” Fetterman said in a statement.

The Fetterman campaign did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment regarding when he plans to debate Oz.