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Tipsheet

Bob Casey Jr. Doubles Down on Delusional Take of Fetterman's Debate Performance

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

On Tuesday night, Dr. Mehmet Oz and John Fetterman met for their debate to see who will replace retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), making it all the more clear why Fetterman only agreed to the one. Beyond him clearly still experiencing symptoms from his stroke in May, which he had shortly before winning the Democratic primary, Fetterman showed to be a flip-flopper on fracking and took far-left positions on the issues of crime and abortion. While the Fetterman campaign certainly set very low expectations with a memo they sent out beforehand, it was still quite the debate performance, and not in a good way. 

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Nevertheless, as Spencer highlighted, Democrats went through magnificent odds to nevertheless defend Fetterman, including and especially Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-PA), whom either Oz or Fetterman will be serving with come the start of a new Congress next January.

The senator outdid himself again during his Wednesday appearance on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports," with Mitchell categorizing Fetterman as "having difficulty" during the debate, adding "we haven't seen frankly in other interviews and live appearances with voters."

Mitchell then inexplicably asked Casey, a known Fetterman supporter, who had been there to cheer the Democratic nominee on, what undecided and swing voters would have to say. 

Naturally, Casey was there to defend Fetterman, but his responses were truly stunning with how much spin they involved. For instance, he offered that "there was a very clear contrast," in that debates "provide a measure of clarity, especially late in a race," though he was not referring to how Fetterman clearly has difficulties, which was clear. 

When it comes to how Casey doubled down on that "measure of clarity," something he repeated and emphasized throughout the segment, he also offered "I think a lot of voters connected with what John Fetterman was saying." It's worth wondering, though, how they could connect with him if they couldn't even understand him.

After listing off issues at stake in Pennsylvania, Casey offered "I think they saw last night in John Fetterman a candidate who understands those struggles, who understands what people are up against every day, and voters in our state know him well, not just swing voters, but voters across the board, know him well, they trust him, and I think they saw some clarity last night," highlighting the issues of raising the minimum wage and retirement. 

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Speaking of how voters "know him well" when it comes to Fetterman, Mia recently traveled to Braddock, the town where Fetterman was previously mayor of, to see how it's fared since then. It's not doing well, and there are not a lot of Fetterman signs. 

While Mitchell was hardly kind to Dr. Oz and his performance, she also asked Casey if even having the debate was a good idea, given how long it took for Fetterman to process and respond to the questions and what Dr. Oz was saying. "A lot of people are saying why did they even agree to this," Mitchell mentioned. 

To Casey, though, this is just another debate and another candidate. "No look," he assured Mitchell, "I've been on a lot of campaigns, there's always second-guessing and I know, uh, Democrats sometimes are, um, are, uh, kind of invent things to worry about at the end of a campaign," which he claimed "happens at every campaign." He ultimately felt it was "the right decision" to have both the candidates there at the debate and that "John did well in that exchange."

While Casey finally did acknowledge Fetterman's stroke, he suggested his friend did better than expected, in that he believed he did well "especially in the context of what he was facing, recovering from a stroke." Casey went on to offer that Fetterman "has made tremendous progress and voters understand that because so many of their families have been through health challenges... and they come back and they get back on their feet. As John said, they get back on their feet, they get knocked down and they come back and they do a really difficult job."

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Casey dismissed that "this idea that, uh, uh, the, the speed of your response is somehow indicative of the way you would do the job is really faulty" and claimed "John is prepared right now to be an effective senator, and I think with even more months of recovery he's gonna be back to where he was, but I think he did really well."

As a neurologist shared, though, Fetterman may very well not get better than this.

Judging from Al Weaver's Wednesday reporting from The Hill, Democrats are realizing it wasn't a good idea for Fetterman to debate. "Democrats in second-guessing mode after Fetterman-Oz Pennsylvania debate," his headline read.

His reporting shows that such Democrats did not have the same reaction as Casey did:

“Fetterman’s team never should have agreed to this debate,” one Pennsylvania Democratic operative told The Hill on the condition of anonymity. “He still clearly has serious health issues.”   

A second Pennsylvania-based Democratic strategist concurred.   

“It’s a good question,” the strategist said. “You can’t pretend you didn’t see what you saw. You can’t wish it or explain it away. You have to dig in and deal with it. It’s going to mean they’ll turn the heat up with Oz.”

...

Fetterman’s issues on the stage were clear from the outset of the hourlong event. In his introductory answer, the lieutenant governor, who used a closed captioning system to make up for his auditory processing deficits, told viewers, “Hi. Good night everyone.”  

After the opening 20 minutes of the debate, one national Democratic operative responded to The Hill with an emoji of a monkey covering its eyes.  

“I don’t think that the debate will be decisive, but I’d question anyone who advocated for Fetterman to do one at all,” the Democratic operative said after the debate. “The more this race has shifted its focus away from Oz and become a referendum on Fetterman, the worse it’s got. I don’t see how tonight helped.” 

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Casey's responses prompted Mitchell to also ask about if Fetterman "should be more transparent about his medical records," something he has not done, as well as if Fetterman should have been more transparent about the stroke when he experienced it in May, "about the seriousness of all this when it first happened."

Ignoring the issues with medical records, Casey claimed Fetterman has been transparent, even speaking of "a recent update" from a doctor, though he left out how that doctor has donated to Fetterman's campaign. 

Seemingly living in his own fantasy land, Casey tried to offer that Fetterman "has been on the road talking to voters, he's been not just speaking at rallies, but engaging with voters" despite the abundance of those actual events. 

The WPXI online poll showed that 82 percent thought that Dr. Oz won the debate, while just 18 percent said so of Fetterman. Of course with this being an online poll, one ought to take it with a grain of salt, but the lopsided numbers in favor of the Republican nominee are still nevertheless telling.

While Casey touted Fetterman as being ahead in the polls, RealClearPoltiics (RCP) shows that Fetterman's lead has dwindled down to just +1.3. The race is also regarded by RCP as a "Toss Up" with a projection of a "GOP Hold."




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