Head of Republican Party mocks speaking abilities of Fetterman, Biden

Explanation

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on Thursday mocked Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate who is recovering from a stroke, and President Biden, who grew up stuttering.

McDaniel was interviewed by radio host Hugh Hewitt about news that Biden and Vice President Harris plan to appear at a political event in Philadelphia on Friday aimed at boosting Fetterman and other Pennsylvania Democrats with choice.

“No one wants them without a doomed campaign,” Hewitt said, suggesting that Democrats around the country have asked Biden and Harris not to go.

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“I don’t underestimate what the political triple poison of those three can do,” Hewitt, a columnist for the Washington Post, continued. “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,” McDaniel replied.

Candidates for the Pennsylvania Senate Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) and Mehmet Oz (R) went back to their first and only debate in Harrisburg, Pa., on Oct. 25. (Video: JM Rieger/The Washington Post)

McDaniel expressed his agreement with Hewitt about the unpopularity of the campaign with Biden and Harris, suggesting that Fetterman “pulled the short straw.”

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

He added, “So Biden said, ‘Between the two of us, we can finish a full sentence.’ ”

Fetterman, who suffered a near-fatal stroke in May, is locked in a tight race in Pennsylvania with Republican Mehmet Oz, a prominent physician.

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During Tuesday night’s debate, Fetterman sometimes stumbled over his words and spoke quietly.

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

“Even the Democrats on CNN were embarrassed about who their candidate was and how he was going to get the job done,” McCarthy said. “This is a big job in the Senate.”

McDaniel is not the first prominent Republican to mock a person with disabilities. During a 2015 campaign appearance, Donald Trump impersonated a reporter with a congenital joint condition that restricts movement in his hands.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign wanted to use footage of Trump doing that against her in campaign ads.

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