Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman pushed back against recent attacks from the GOP on his record on crime as well as his health as polls indicate a tight race between the lieutenant governor and Republican challenger Mehmet Oz.
On MSNBC’s “The ReidOut” on Tuesday night, host Joy Reid referenced the fact that Republicans have been homing in on crime in the Pennsylvania race. She referenced some of the latest criticisms that have focused on Fetterman’s tattoos, which represent his time as mayor of Braddock, Pa.
Newt Gingrich was among the Republicans who raised questions about whether Fetterman’s tattoos indicated he had ties to gang activity and crime.
“It’s absurd, and it’s the Oz rule. You know, when he’s on TV, he’s lying,” Fetterman told Reid, mentioning that the tattoos represent the dates when people were killed in Braddock.
Fetterman also told Reid that his health isn’t a major concern, despite Republican attempts to focus on the issue after Fetterman suffered a stroke in May. He noted that medical officials have told him that he’s fit and ready to serve and called out his opponent for lying about his health.
“Dr. Oz lies about my health again and again. It’s the Oz rule again. When he’s on TV, he’s going to be lying. And the truth is also is that in January, I’m going to be much better but he’ll still be a fraud,” Fetterman said.
“John Fetterman has resorted to desperate lies to cover up for the fact that he either isn’t being transparent about his health or he’s too afraid to answer for his dangerous soft-on-crime policies that will make us less safe,” Oz spokesperson Brittany Yannick said in a statement to The Hill on Wednesday. “The momentum is with Dr. Oz in the closing weeks of the campaign as voters learn more about John Fetterman’s dangerous views on decriminalizing dangerous drugs like heroin and meth, his commitment to raising taxes on hardworking Pennsylvanians while failing to pay his own, and his policies that put criminals over victims.”
Fetterman’s remarks come after a USA Today-Suffolk University poll published Tuesday found that 46 percent of voters support Fetterman in the state’s Senate election, compared to 40 percent who support Oz.
A similar poll in June showed that Fetterman had a 9-point lead among likely voters over Oz.
The Fetterman-Oz showdown is one of the most closely watched Senate races ahead of November’s midterm elections. The Cook Political Report on Tuesday shifted the race back to the “toss-up” category after initially moving it to “lean Democrat.”
Updated: 3:25 p.m.