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Monday, December 09, 2019

Tag: john fetterman

John Fetterman Flips Pennsylvania Senate Seat, Defeating Mehmet Oz

“I got knocked down but I got back up,” Pennsylvania lieutenant governor and Democratic Senate nominee John Fetterman tweeted last month, referring to the stroke that took him off the campaign trail for months. Even as Fetterman fought his way back, including doing interviews with the help of closed captioning to help him adapt to a temporary auditory processing disorder, the media worked on painting him as unqualified while giving Oz a pass on things like having hundreds of dogs killed for medical research and promoting quack medicines.

Now Fetterman has gotten all the way back up, defeating Republican Mehmet Oz in the race for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey. This is a big pickup for Democrats in the fight to retain control of the Senate.

[With more than 93 percent of precincts reported, Fetterman was projected to win with just over 50 percent to 47 percent for Oz. Democrat Josh Shapiro easily defeated Republican Doug Mastriano in the Pennysylvania governor's race.]

Endorse This! Dr. Oz Says He Owns 'Two Houses, Legitimately' -- And 10 'Properties'

Where ultra-wealthy TV quack doctor Mehmet Oz actually lives is a mystery. He doesn't seem to reside in Pennsylvania, where he is currently the Republican U.S. Senate candidate. He owns a mansion in New Jersey -- and what he calls "properties" in at least nine other places, although he claims to only "legitimately" two homes (whatever that means).

Not surprisingly, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, his Democratic opponent and a trolling master, has taken acerbic note of this curious situation in a certain television host's style -- and then dropped an amusing video via Twitter.

Watch the clip below:



Fox News Slimes Fetterman After Its Poll Shows Oz Sinking

Fox News is in attack mode after its own polling showed Republican nominee Mehmet Oz trailing Democratic nominee Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in the Pennsylvania Senate race.

The July 28 Fox News poll showed that Fetterman has an 11-point lead over Oz. Additionally, according to the poll, “just 35 percent of those backing Oz say they support him enthusiastically, while 45 percent have reservations. For Fetterman, 68 percent back him enthusiastically and only 18 percent hesitate.” These results, combined with data showing that Fetterman is outraising and outspending Oz, could spell disaster for the GOP hopeful. However, since this polling, Fox has demonstrated it’s a reliable partner to help Oz try to reset the race.

The network has long had a cozy relationship with Oz. At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Oz became one of Fox News’ most prominent voices by downplaying the severity of the virus and promoting unproven therapeutics. Then during the GOP Pennsylvania primary, Oz received support and a platform from Fox News’ Sean Hannity, whom Oz later thanked in his victory speech. While not all Fox News anchors supported Oz during the primary, even holdouts like Laura Ingraham are now giving Oz friendly prime-time interviews to boost his campaign.

Fox’s attacks against Fetterman have increasingly focused on dispelling the idea that he is a populist by painting him as an elite who is focused on pushing far-left policies. The network has also highlighted the race even beyond focusing on the two nominees. It's run at least one news segment about relatively small numbers of Pennsylvanians changing their party identification as supposed examples of the Democratic Party losing touch with voters in the Keystone State.

Fox News personalities have repeatedly pushed narratives portraying Fetterman as an elitist and a far-left radical and have given favorable coverage to Oz while attacking Fetterman:

  • On August 3, Ingraham said Fetterman was only “playing the part” of a populist, adding, “It turns out that this giant man baby was getting allowance from his parents in excess of $50,000 a year. And it lasted not just for a few years but well into his 40s.” During the segment, the chyrons read “Exposing John Fetterman’s phony populism” and “‘Everyman’ Fetterman exposed as a fraud.”
  • The same night, Ingraham gave a softball interview to Oz over Fetterman’s background, and Oz called his opponent a “fraud.” Oz, an extremely wealthy former television star, added that he was the real everyman, saying, “I'm a son of an immigrant. I believe in the American dream because I lived it myself.” He claimed Fetterman has “never had to work to make some money because it was given to him.”
  • Ingraham also gave Oz a platform to refute Fetterman’s attacks on his New Jersey residence. She asked him, “They put Snooki out there to say you don’t live in Pennsylvania. But aren’t you living in the house that you and your wife were married in? I think I read that somewhere. Is that the case?”
  • On Fox News Sunday, anchor Bret Baier focused on Fetterman’s left-leaning policies and fearmongered about his abortion stance, saying Fetterman leads Oz “by nine points in our latest poll. And voter enthusiasm shows Fetterman voters twice as enthusiastic than Oz voters at this point. But when you talk about policy, he is not exactly a mainstream moderate Democrat. He is a Bernie Sanders, left wing, and if you ask the abortion question in a way — 'when are you OK with limits' — you don't get an answer.”
  • Brian Kilmeade discussed the Fox News poll with his panel on the July 31 edition of Fox & Friends Weekend. Kilmeade expressed confusion about Fetterman’s success so far, saying, “He isn't a moderate, and you would think that in a purple state that Pennsylvania is, that Trump won in 2016, you would think that that would be trouble and he can't pull a Tim Ryan and pretend he’s a moderate.”
  • During an appearance on the July 31 edition of Steve Hilton’s Fox News show, conservative radio host Clay Travis suggested a line of attack Oz can use against trans people. He made a direct appeal to Oz, saying, “He needs to try to get John Fetterman to answer a simple question that I believe will ultimately decide the election in Pennsylvania: Can men get pregnant? He needs to go on the offensive here. … Dr. Oz watches a lot of Fox News. I know that a lot of his people do as well. I hope they get this clip. And I just want Dr. Oz to say over and over again — as a doctor — ‘I believe there are two sexes. Men and women, and I believe women get pregnant. I’ve got a simple question for John Fetterman. He can answer from his basement: Can men get pregnant?’”
  • Ingraham bashed all Democratic Senate candidates in toss-up races, attacking Fetterman on energy costs: “A vote for John Fetterman in Pennsylvania is a vote for high energy prices.”

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Endorse This! Dr. Oz Gets Skewered In Hilarious 'Wizard' Parody

Medias Touch, a liberal-leaning super PAC, has produced a very funny two-minute video ad that skewers Pennsylvania's GOP Senate nominee Mehmet Oz, using classic movie scenes from The Wizard of Oz interspersed with clips of him as the Wizard.

The parody ad arraigns Oz for his promotion of questionable medical products on his old cable show, including weight loss supplements he later regretted endorsing.

"You're a very bad man!" cries Dorothy -- and does she ever have Oz nailed.

Watch the entire video below:

GOP Fears Its Mediocre Senate Candidates Will Ruin Midterm Campaign

After months of sharpening their knives in anticipation of the midterms, Republicans' glee has turned gloomy as the election cycle's contours shift.

That is particularly true in the Senate, where a several-point post-Roe bump for Democrats in the generic ballot is perhaps the least of Republicans' worries. The main problem is that Republicans are saddled with subpar, Trumpian candidates in the most critical Senate races at a time when Donald Trump's star appears to be falling.

On background, one GOP strategist warned of "massive problems on the candidate front.” On the record, veteran GOP operative Kevin Madden offered a more tempered view: “There are warning signs that some of these candidates are not as strong as they could be given the opportunity at hand."

Take Trump's hand-picked candidate in Georgia, the verbally challenged former football star Herschel Walker, where the National Republican Senatorial Committee is already trying to perform an intervention, according to The Washington Post.

The Senate GOP campaign arm recently installed several trusted Republican operatives to help right Walker's ship, including veteran strategist Gail Gitcho as a senior adviser, Chip Lake as a consultant, and Brett O’Donnell, the party’s "most celebrated debate prep strategist," according to the Post.

O'Donnell's in for a treat with Walker, who is making a strong bid for the most consistently incoherent candidate on the trail in modern memory.

Walker's latest triumph was dumbing down the climate change debate by 'splaining how America is cleaning up China's air quality.

"Since we don’t control the air, our good air decide to float over to China bad air. So when China get our good air, their bad air gotta move. So, it moves over to our good air space. And now, we gotta clean that back up," Walker clarified. Got that?

It doesn't help that Walker's staff was reportedly blindsided by the discovery that the candidate fathered three children he had never publicly acknowledged. But Walker's biggest deficit appears to be that his campaign doesn’t trust him to ... well ... talk.

When Georgia conservative radio host Erick Erickson invited Walker on his show for a one-on-one, hour-long chat, the campaign declined because aides didn't want him going "free form" for an entire hour, per the Post.

“I don’t know anyone who has confidence in the campaign including people on the campaign. He doesn’t have standard candidate discipline,” Erickson said. “He just doesn’t have a deep grasp of the issues nor really the desire to learn those issues."

Senate Republicans are also haunted by flashbacks from the 2010 and 2012 cycles, when wackadoodle GOP candidates doomed their chances of regaining control of the upper chamber.

In Ohio, Trump-backed GOP Senate nominee J.D. Vance has compared abortion to slavery, saying they had both "distorted" American society.

“There’s something comparable between abortion and slavery, and that while the people who obviously suffer the most are those subjected to it, I think it has this morally distorting effect on the entire society,” Vance said in an interview with the Catholic Current last October. “I think that’s one of the underappreciated facts about abortion," Vance added.

Vance's Democratic challenger, Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, called the comparison "absolutely disgusting" in a tweet about the remarks.

“We cannot let him anywhere near the Senate," added Ryan, who has pledged to end the filibuster in order to codify abortion protections into federal law. On Friday, the Ryan campaign announced that it hauled in an eye-popping $9.1 million in the second quarter.

In Pennsylvania, TV huckster Dr. Mehmet Oz quickly fell behind the Democratic Senate nominee, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who has been recovering from a stroke he suffered in mid-May. Early polling last month showed Fetterman leading Oz by 9 points.

Fetterman is expected to return to the campaign trail within weeks. In the meantime, Fetterman has been pounding Oz for being a carpetbagger from New Jersey.

Even GOP incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin isn’t exactly on a glide path to reelection this fall.

Though some election analysts have just begun to recalibrate their predictions in this post-Roe environment, Democratic strategist Simon Rosenberg doesn't view abortion as the only driving force favoring Democrats.

For the past two cycles, he says, nothing and no one have galvanized a coalition of voters to vote against Republicans more than Trump and the MAGA movement have. Rosenberg expects November to follow in similar fashion.

“The question is, are there forces in the election more powerful than the disappointment in Biden?” posited Rosenberg. “The answer is yes, and that is opposition and fear for MAGA, which is the thing that has driven the last two elections.”

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Top Pennsylvania Democrat Says Trumpists Committed All Voter Fraud In State

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) is fed up with Republicans' circulation of false claims about voter fraud in his state. On Saturday, July 10, Fetterman appeared on MSNBC where he raised concerns about the dangerous spread of misinformation about the 2020 presidential election.

Speaking to MSNBC's Ali Velshi, Fetterman made it clear that the claims of voter fraud in his state were widely committed by voters registered to the Republican Party casting illegal ballots for former President Donald Trump.

During the interview, he said:

"The grand irony in all of this, of course, is that the voter fraud that we did have in Pennsylvania was all Republicans voting, having their dead relatives vote for Donald Trump.

"And the bottom line is simply this. And here's another fact is that Republicans that I talk to in Pennsylvaniadon't believe there was any election fraud. I mean, of course, there's a segment of people — if you're already following or listening to a dude that sells pillows on TV, you know, you're kind of beyond reaching. But Republicans don't want to run on this in '22. They may be forced to, but Senator Mastriano is just sending out love letters to the former president in the hopes of getting his endorsement to run. That would be a good thing for Democrats in Pennsylvania because he would get — we'd mop the floor with him."

Despite Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud in the battleground state, the state has only had approximately 10 cases of fraud. According to PoliticusUSA, all of Pennsylvania's cases of voter fraud center around Trump supporters. In fact, Fetterman previously broke down the math via Twitter as he argued that "7M Pennsylvania voters cast their ballots in 2020. The odds of *actual* voter fraud are worse than an actual lottery ticket."

Pennsylvania’s Senate Democratic Primary Pitts The Party Against Itself

Joe Sestak is a former three star admiral, a two term congressman, and a one time Senate candidate who came within two points of defeating Sen. Pat Toomey in 2010, a tough, tough year for Democrats.

Yet his own party and aligned outside groups are spending millions of dollars to derail his bid to be the Democratic nominee for Senate in Pennsylvania.

Voters in the state are heading to the polls today in a fiercely contested Senate primary race. Pennsylvania is one of six key states — along with New Hampshire, Illinois, Ohio, Florida and Wisconsin — for Democrats as the party plots to take back the Senate.

The Democratic establishment wants Pennsylvanians behind Katie McGinty, a former chief of staff to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf who hasn’t held elected office herself. She’s received support from the party’s Senate campaign committee and an endorsement from the president.

“D.C. Democratic money is now used without asking donors whether it can be contrary to the original purpose of the contribution: not against Republicans, but against another Democrat,” Sestak wrote in an email to supporters last week.

This all started in 2010. That’s when 64-year-old then-Congressman Sestak, after two victories in the normally Republican-leaning 7th Congressional District, ran his first race for the Senate Democratic nomination. After Sestak began his campaign, incumbent Republican senator Arland Specter switched parties, running for re-election as a Democrat and quickly earning the support of the state party infrastructure.

Sestak, mostly thanks to a top-notch ground game, managed to win the nomination without the support of the Democratic establishment. He narrowly lost to Pat Toomey in the general election, a seat the party believed could have been won had Specter been their candidate.

Sestak, pro-choice, F-rated by the National Rifle Association, top rated by environmentalists, anti-Citizens United, and a one time national security adviser to Hillary Clinton, announced early last year he was running again for the Senate. Politico reported that he had refused to hire a party-approved campaign manager. The DSCC unsuccessfully attempted to recruit five other candidates before finally landing on McGinty.

Sestak is popular in Pennsylvania and led the polls by double digits as late as a month ago. His campaign has pulled in more than $4 million, and a supportive super PAC has a million more.

But McGinty, helped by outside spending totaling close to $4 million, much of it from the DSCC and EMILY’s List, has drawn even according to the latest polls. Monmouth University have the pair dead even at 39 percent, while the Republican-leaning Harper Polling put McGinty six points ahead.

There is a third candidate: Braddock, PA mayor John Fetterman. Most often profiled as the 6’8, tattooed, bald-headed, bushy-bearded Harvard graduate, the Bernie Sanders supporter is expected to pick up a respectable 10 percent of the vote.

Sestak’s supporters worry that Fetterman will pick off independent, anti-establishment voters that may have otherwise voted for the former admiral.

Meanwhile, incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Toomey watches on, cradling a $9.1 million general election war chest that will grow with time.

If Sestak wins the primary, the party establishment will have to park their dislike of the candidate in some dark D.C corner. No matter their nominee, Democrats need Pennsylvania, along with another four of the six target states, if they are to take back the Senate.

Photo: Joe Sestak in 2009. Wikimedia Commons.