(RepublicanInformer.com)- Despite demands from Pennsylvania Senate Republican candidate Mehmet Oz to hold a debate before early voting begins, on Wednesday, Democrat challenger John Fetterman finally accepted an invitation to debate on October 25 after months of dithering.
Last week, Dr. Oz argued that the first debate must be held in September before Pennsylvania voters begin casting their ballots. Oz told Axios that he would not agree to a mid-October debate unless Fetterman agreed to do one before Pennsylvania begins sending out absentee and mail-in ballots.
But Fetterman is refusing an earlier date.
On Wednesday, the Fetterman campaign agreed to hold the first debate just two weeks before the midterm election, long after early voters have already cast their ballots.
It’s obvious why the Fetterman campaign is doing this.
John Fetterman doesn’t want voters to see firsthand just how incapacitated the stroke left him until after thousands of early votes have been cast.
According to the Oz campaign, Fetterman’s team has requested their candidate be provided closed captioning during the debate and given two practice sessions in the Harrisburg studio so he can get accustomed to using it.
In exchange, the Oz campaign made three demands of its own.
The Oz team wants the moderator to inform the audience in advance that Fetterman is using closed captioning so he can follow what’s going on. They are also requesting that the questions put to Fetterman during his practice sessions not be asked during the live debate.
Finally, since waiting for Fetterman to read the closed captioning will eat into the debate time, the Oz campaign is asking that the 60-minute format be extended to 90-minutes.
The Oz campaign is still pushing that an additional debate is held earlier.
Campaign manager Casey Contres said in a statement on Wednesday that voters in the state shouldn’t be forced to “wait until October 25 to hear from their candidates.”
It is unlikely the Fetterman campaign will agree to an earlier debate.