Biden Appears To Suggest Gisele Fetterman Will Take Her Husband’s Senate Seat

(Photo by Nate Smallwood/Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
Font Size:

President Joe Biden said that Gisele Fetterman would be “a great lady in the Senate” during a Thursday campaign appearance, as questions about Democratic Pennsylvania Senate nominee John Fetterman continue to swirl.

Biden appeared in Pittsburgh to promote his infrastructure proposals, including the Inflation Reduction Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. During a press conference, Biden name-checked several Pennsylvania elected officials, including Fetterman, who suffered a stroke less than a week before he won the state’s Senate primary by more than 30 points.

“John, thank you very much for running, I do appreciate it. And Gisele, you’re gonna make a great lady in the Senate,” Biden said.

With John Fetterman unable to campaign for more than three months, Gisele Fetterman emerged as her husband’s chief surrogate. She has spoken to the press and met with donors on his behalf, and is a frequent presence at his rallies. Gisele Fetterman has also been the subject of several media profiles, with a Rolling Stone article even referring to her as the “de facto” candidate.

Although John Fetterman has gradually made his return to the campaign trail, he has struggled to speak coherently during rallies and interviews. A note released Wednesday by a doctor and campaign donor said that the candidate “exhibit[s] symptoms of an auditory processing disorder which can come across as hearing difficulty.”

“Occasional words he will ‘miss’ which seems like he doesn’t hear the word but it is actually not processed properly,” Pittsburgh-area physician Dr. Clifford Chen wrote. (RELATED: John Fetterman Releases Doctor’s Note After Stroke, Reveals He ‘Almost Died’)

Gisele Fetterman has repeatedly pushed back on questions about her husband’s health. She claimed in a podcast interview that calling attention to John Fetterman’s struggles to speak coherently is “ableist” and demanded “consequences” for a reporter who said that he had a hard time understanding her. Gisele Fetterman also lashed out at The Washington Post’s call for multiple debates between John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz, claiming the publication “just want[s] clicks.”

Several wives of senators have taken over for their husbands upon death or incapacitation. Most recently, Democrat Jean Carnahan of Missouri replaced her husband on the ballot in 2000 after Mel Carnahan died in a plane crash. If John Fetterman were to win his race against Oz, the Pennsylvania governor could appoint his successor if he were unable to serve.

The White House did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for a clarification of Biden’s remarks.