Outgoing Sen. Pat Toomey Says John Fetterman ‘Will Not Be Able To Do The Job’ If He Can’t Speak

REUTERS/Quinn Glabicki

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
Font Size:

Outgoing Republican Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey said Tuesday morning that Democratic candidate John Fetterman shouldn’t be in the Senate if he can’t speak after Fetterman has bucked debates, citing his stroke recovery.

Fetterman has refused to debate Republican candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz, saying he is working on his “auditory processing and speech” after suffering a stroke in early May, the Free Beacon reported.

Fetterman has since mostly conducted his campaign virtually. His first public appearance after the stroke came during an Erie, Pennsylvania rally in Aug. 12, during which he said he was “grateful to be here” but appeared to stumble over his words several times.

Fetterman spoke at a Labor Day event Monday and stumbled over his words as well.

Toomey said Tuesday that Fetterman’s difficulty speaking could be detrimental to his career should he win the Senate seat. (RELATED: Major Pennsylvania Newspaper Says Fetterman’s Stroke ‘Raises Serious Concerns’ About His Ability To Serve)

“It’s obvious [Fetterman] has difficulty speaking,” Toomey said. “I don’t say this with any malice and I’m not unsympathetic.”

“If John Fetterman were elected to the Senate and he’s not able to communicate, if he’s not able to engage with his colleagues, he will not be able to do the job.”

Fetterman said he would not debate Oz during the first week of September but was looking forward to “having a productive discussion about how we can move forward and have a real conversation on this once Dr. Oz and his team are ready to take this seriously,” according to the Free Beacon.