Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel was a guest on conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt's radio show Thursday, and she and Hewitt agreed that only desperate Democratic candidates would invite President Biden to campaign on their behalf. They were specifically pointing at Pennsylvania Senate nominee John Fetterman's Philadelphia rally Friday with Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
When Hewitt said he hoped the rally would be captured on tape, McDaniel took a pot shot at Biden, who has a stutter, and Fetterman, who sometimes struggles to find the right words as he recovers from a stroke. "Well, maybe they can get a full sentence out," she said. McDaniel suggested that Fetterman was only campaigning with Biden, who won Pennsylvania in 2020, because he "drew the short straw," adding, "So Biden said, 'Between the two of us, we may be able to finish a full sentence.'"
"The Republican Party is a piece of trash," Mark Cross, a registered Republican who says he's voting for Fetterman, told The Washington Post at a diner in the Philadelphia suburb of Wayne.
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Cross, 61, said he can't support the GOP nominee, celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, because of his association with former President Donald Trump, but he also personally relates to Fetterman, having gotten a brain tumor removed four years ago himself. "I can think, but interpreting what he's saying is different," he told the Post. "It takes time to think, my off-the-cuff thinking is affected. The thought is in your head, but it's not coming out of your mouth."
Some Democrats expressed nerves about the pivotal Pennsylvania Senate race after Tuesday's debate, during which Fetterman's language was sometimes halting. But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) apparently isn't one of them. "It looks like the debate didn't hurt us too much in Pennsylvania," he said in hot-mic comments to Biden and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) on Thursday. "So that's good." Schumer was less sanguine about Georgia's Senate race, "where we're going downhill."
Fetterman told MNSBC's Joy Reid on Thursday that he "thought it was important to be" at Tuesday's debate, "and we showed up." After "getting knocked down, I always got back up," he added. "By January, I will be much, much better, but Oz will still be a fraud."
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