November 28, 2022

Pennsylvania’s two Senate candidates, Democratic Lt. Governor John Fetterman and his Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz, appeared Tuesday night in their first and only debate in the state’s highly-watched and contentious Senate race. It comes as Fetterman continues to recover from a stroke, and has struggled with speech due to ongoing auditory processing challenges. 

In his opening statement, Fetterman addressed the “elephant in the room,” saying “I had a stroke.” Addressing his opponent, Fetterman said “he is never going to let me forget that.” 

“It knocked me down but I’m going to keep coming back up,” Fetterman said. He said the campaign was about fighting  for “everyone in Pennsylvania that ever got knocked down that needs to get back up.”

The high-stakes race is key for both parties in determining which party controls the Senate. A CBS News Battleground Tracker poll released Tuesday morning – ahead of the debate – showed Fetterman leading Oz 51% to 49%, after Fetterman led by five points last month. 

Election 2022 Pennsylvania Senate
This combination of file photos shows Democratic Senate candidate, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, left, and Republican Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz in 2022 photos.

PATRICK SEMANSKY, LEFT, AND DAVID DREMER, RIGHT / AP


During the hour-long face-off, the candidates clashed on spending, abortion, health care, fracking, public safety, education and more. Throughout the debate both candidates, often speaking over each other, accused the other of lying to the people of Pennsylvania. 

Oz has made crime a central line of attack in his campaign in the final months of the election season – forcing Fetterman on the defensive. He opened the debate by accusing Fetterman of trying to get murderers out of jail, wanting to legal all drugs, open borders and raising taxes. 

This is a developing story. It will be updated.

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