Head of Republican Party mocks speaking abilities of Fetterman, Biden


Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on Thursday mocked the speaking abilities of Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the Democratic Senate candidate from Pennsylvania who is recovering from a stroke, and President Biden, who grew with a stutter.

McDaniel was interviewed by syndicated radio host Hugh Hewitt about the news that Biden and Vice President Harris plan to appear at a political event in Philadelphia on Friday with the intention of pushing Fetterman and other Pennsylvania Democrats to the polls.

“No one wants them, except for a doomed campaign,” Hewitt said, suggesting that Democrats across the country have been asking Biden and Harris to stay away.

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“I don’t underestimate what the triple political toxicity of these three can do,” continued Hewitt, a Washington Post columnist. “I hope there are cameras and microphones, because you put the three of them together and they can say anything, Ronna.”

“Well, maybe they can get a full sentence out,” McDaniel replied.

Pennsylvania Senate candidates Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) and Mehmet Oz (R) faced off in their first and only debate in Harrisburg, Pa., on October 25. (Video: JM Rieger/The Washington Post)

McDaniel indicated he agreed with Hewitt about the undesirability of campaigning with Biden and Harris, speculating that Fetterman “knocked the short straw.”

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“I think all the candidates got together and said, ‘Which one of us should campaign with Biden?’ [Fetterman] drew the short straw,” McDaniel said.

He added: “So Biden said, ‘Between the two of us, we might be able to finish a whole sentence.’ “

Fetterman, who suffered a near-fatal stroke in May, is in a tight race in Pennsylvania with Republican Mehmet Oz, the celebrity doctor.

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During a debate Tuesday night, Fetterman at times stumbled over his words and spoke haltingly.

During a television appearance Thursday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) suggested Fetterman’s performance should give voters pause.

“Even the Democrats at CNN were embarrassed about who their candidate was and how well he could get the job done,” McCarthy said. “This is a great job in the Senate.”

McDaniel is not the first prominent Republican to mock someone with a disability. During a 2015 campaign appearance, Donald Trump impersonated a reporter with a congenital joint disease that limits movement in his arms.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign tried to use images of Trump doing it against him in campaign ads.


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