(Mark Pellin, Headline USA) In the ashes of what remained of Pennsylvania Democrat John Fetterman’s campaign after his painfully disastrous performance in Tuesday’s lone debate for the state’s US Senate seat, the leftist mainstream media, along with members of Fetterman’s inner circle, were blasted for providing false cover for an obviously ailing candidate, enabling him to perpetuate a ruse on voters.
The debate was a struggle for Fetterman, who suffered a stroke before the primaries and has refused to release his medical records, with the Democrat stumbling badly over an already low bar of expectations.
A memo from the Fetterman camp on “what to expect” tonight, lowering expectations:
“We’ll admit – this isn’t John’s format.”
Pointing to the closed captioning aspect as “unprecedented.”
“John is going to win this race – even if he doesn’t win the debate.” pic.twitter.com/5VgjOfRcfm
— Dasha Burns (@DashaBurns) October 25, 2022
Republican challenger, Trump-backed Mehmet Oz, gave a contrasting performance that most pundits said exceeded expectations and his campaign declared a resounding win. The same didn’t hold for Fetterman.
“Even with the moderators constantly cutting Fetterman off to protect him from himself, there is nothing the media can do to spin this debate,” wrote political strategist Andrew Surabian.
“I have never seen someone so obviously mentally/physically unfit to serve in office than John Fetterman.”
Even reliable leftist media organs like Vox were left cringing at Fetterman’s obviously impaired health.
“There is no amount of empathy for and understanding about Fetterman’s health and recovery that changes the fact that this is absolutely painful to watch,” wrote New York Magazine and Vox Media’s Olivia Nuzzi.
“I do want to clarify something,” the debate moderator noted at one point. “You’re saying tonight that you support fracking, that you’ve always supported fracking, but there is that 2018 interview that you said, quote, ‘I don’t support fracking at all.’ So how do you square the two?”
“I do support fracking. And I don’t, I don’t. I support fracking,” Fetterman floundered. “And I stand and I do support fracking.”
The moment John Fetterman lost the PA Senate race pic.twitter.com/P4KeExntFL
— Jesse Hunt (@JJHunt10) October 26, 2022
It wasn’t the only moment that observers thought might have cost Fetterman both the debate and also the election.
John Fetterman: “My doctoral believes that I’m fit to be serving and that’s what I believe is where I’m standing.”
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) October 26, 2022
If Fetterman were a Republican, this debate would be an SNL cold open.
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) October 26, 2022
Fetterman’s enablers, including a leftist media, his campaign staff and his wife, were roundly condemned for submitting the candidate, as well as Pennsylvania voters, to a painful ordeal.
“The media protected this guy,” political commentator Mike Cernovich tweeted. “There’s no bottom.”
“Fetterman, who had a stroke in May, has been reassuring voters that he is ready to serve,” advised CBS chief campaign and election correspondent Robert Costa.
He patiently explained that even Fetterman’s doctor had given the candidate a clean bill of health, without disclosing that the doctor was a major Fetterman campaign booster.
To further perpetuate the pre-debate ruse, CBS brought on Al Tompkins, senior faculty member with the far-leftist Poynter Institute, who told viewers that in regards to Fetterman’s health, “There’s just too much attention on it.”
“And more than half of the voters agree, saying they don’t think it’s important to talk about Fetterman’s health during debate,” gushed CBS’ Costa.
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) October 26, 2022
“My God, the moderators have almost stopped asking Fetterman any questions because he can’t speak,” tweeted Outkick’s Clay Travis. “@giselefetterman you should be ashamed for letting this campaign continue. Your husband isn’t well. This is a disgrace. Every PA Democrat who let this happen should be ashamed.”
“He is clearly not well,” Travis noted. “And all media who have tried to cover for him should be called out too. This is all disgraceful.”
That #PASenateDebate was painful to watch. I feel very sorry for John Fetterman that he suffered a stroke, but it is cruel of his team to expose him to such ridicule when he is clearly unfit to either take part in TV debates or be a fully-functional senator. He should withdraw.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 26, 2022
“They should stop this PA senate debate. We’ve seen enough,” tweeted Fox News host Greg Gutfeld. “Shame on the Dems for trying to hide this from voters. Now it’s just painful to watch.”
The rest of the campaign will likely prove just as painful for Fetterman, according to political betting sites and media polls that saw the Democrat’s odds of winning plummet post-debate, while Oz’s numbers soared.
Local affiliate conducts post-debate poll. 82-18 Oz. Devastating for Fetterman. And it should actually be worse given what we all witnessed. https://t.co/RXlRAkjmuH
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) October 26, 2022
Betting markets were close to even in the PA senate race when tonight’s debate started. This is where they are right now. I’ve never seen line movement like this based on a single one hour debate. pic.twitter.com/0G7iCJqJEy
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) October 26, 2022