John Fetterman Celebrates Oprah’s Endorsement: ‘It’s Amazing’
Candidate for the Pennsylvania Senate John Fetterman told the hosts of ABC’s “The View” on Friday that he was thrilled to have Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement over his Republican opponent and her former TV assistant, Ph.D. Mehmet Oz.
“She’s an icon. It’s unbelievable,” Fetterman said. “I’m honored and so grateful that she understands what’s at stake in this race.”
Winfrey, whose hit daytime show brought Oz to national attention as “American Doctor” in the 2000s, announced Thursday night that she is endorsing Fetterman in a hotly contested Senate race that could determine which party wins control of the chamber.
“If I lived in Pennsylvania, I would have already cast my vote for John Fetterman, for many reasons,” Winfrey said during an online discussion about the importance of voting.
For months, Winfrey kept quiet about Oz’s candidacy. The Oz campaign responded to its endorsement of Fetterman late Thursday night.
“Dr. Oz loves Oprah and respects the fact that they have different policies,” spokeswoman Brittany Yanick said. “He believes we need more balance and less extremism in Washington.”
Fetterman suffered a stroke in May and has been working with a speech therapist since then. To help with Fetterman’s auditory processing problems during his a debate with Oz last week, two monitors were suspended above the moderators’ heads to transcribe both the questions and Oz’s answers in real time.
A week before his debate with Oz, Fetterman doctors said he was ready for “full duty” in the office. However, he refused to release his medical records.
Fetterman talked about his health on “The View.”
“I just keep getting better and better every day,” he said. “I really believe fundamentally that both of our doctors believe that we’re capable of serving, and that we’ve been able to sustain … the rigors of running a campaign that goes all over Pennsylvania and spends thousands and thousands of miles across the states.”
“The View” co-host Ana Navarro noted that while senators have faced serious health challenges in office in the past, none had these health problems before being elected. Having released only two letters from his doctor and failing to share his medical records, Navarro questioned whether Fetterman owed voters full transparency about his health.
“I really feel like we were leaving the same equivalent medical information that Dr. Oz left,” he said. “We’ve been very transparent in the beliefs of all of our doctors, both since June and October, they all agree that I’m fit to serve.”
“I believe in my team of doctors and I believe that we are here today, right now on live TV, that we can have this conversation,” he added. “I feel like we’re running a very transparent race about health issues.”
Fetterman reflected on his debate with Oz last week, saying that “it certainly wasn’t an equal event” for him, but he felt it was “critical” that he “showed up.”
“I was proud to show up,” he continued. “It was much more enjoyable being with all of you today than being on stage with Dr. Oz.”
During his debate with Oz, Fetterman pressed him on his wealth, including the number of mansions he owns. Admitting that he himself has a privileged upbringing, Fetterman explains the difference between him and his opponent in this respect.
“It’s not necessarily complete equivalence in terms of the money involved, but I’ve really dedicated my career to helping young people get their GEDs; to run for mayor of their communities; to fight gun violence while trying to create economic development,” he said. Fetterman.
“Dr. Oz decided to really fight for his bank account,” he added.
During last week’s debate, Oz made a controversial comment about a woman’s choice to have an abortion when he said, “I don’t want the federal government to get involved in that at all. I want women, doctors, local and political leaders who run a democracy … to come up with the best ideas to states could decide for themselves.”
Fetterman said on “The View” that “being a local political official” was not his decision. “I’ve always believed that the choice is always between the woman and her doctor,” he said. “I’ve always believed in Roe v. Wade.”
Another hot issue during the debate was fracking. While Fetterman previously opposed it, he supported it during his debate.
He told co-host Alyssa Darah Griffin on Friday, “Every single one of the issues I’ve ever had with fracking is really about environmental regulations. When they’re passed and they’re dealt with, you know, I support fracking.”
“And I absolutely support energy independence and make sure that we are never held back by a country like Russia, and that we produce as much American energy as possible,” he continued. “I fully support fracking.”
Fetterman added that he thinks it’s important to “walk that line between … making sure we’re generating as much energy here as we can from traditional sources, but also investing to ensure the transition to more and more green energy.”
On “The View,” Fetterman acknowledged that inflation is “really critical” to voters and a “tax on working people,” something he believes Oz can’t address.
“To really fully understand how to fight inflation, you have to understand how it works and how it affects working people. And I just believe that Dr. Oz doesn’t really understand that,” Fetterman said, adding that “it’s critical that we step up and we fight against” corporate greed and price gouging.
“Inflation, as we know, is hurting working families across Pennsylvania. And I think that’s leading to, you know, record profits for corporations,” he continued. “It’s more important that we stand with American workers and make sure we’re making more and more things here, both in Pennsylvania and in America.”
Wrapping up the daytime talk show interview, Fetterman shared his message with Pennsylvania voters, calling out his opponent for “using Pennsylvania” in the process.
“I believe I’m running to serve Pennsylvania because I’ve made that long career serving Pennsylvania, and I believe Dr. Oz is essentially using Pennsylvania,” he said. “[Oz] he’s trying to buy a place here, and he’s going to spend over $20 million of his own money.”
“I really want to fight for every person in Pennsylvania who’s ever been shot down, who’s had to come back,” Fetterman continued. “I basically believe that I’m always going to get better and better, and Dr. Oz is going to stay kind of a career con man, lying and selling those kinds of magic pills and getting rich. “
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