Head of Republican Party mocks speaking abilities of Fetterman, Biden

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Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on Thursday mocked the speaking ability of Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate who is recovering from a stroke and grew up 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 to encourage Fetterman and other Pennsylvania Democrats to vote.

“Nobody wants them except for a ruined campaign,” Hewitt said, pointing out that Democrats across the country have asked Biden and Harris to stay away.

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“I don’t underestimate what the triple toxicity of that trio can do politically,” continued Washington Post contributing columnist Hewitt. “I think there are cameras and microphones, because you put those three together and they can say anything, Ronna.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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During Tuesday night’s debate, Fetterman spoke haltingly and stuttering at times.

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

“Even those Democrats at CNN were embarrassed about who their nominee was and his ability to get the job done,” McCarthy said. “It’s a big job in the Senate.”

McDaniel isn’t the first prominent Republican to mock a person with a disability. During the 2015 campaign, Donald Trump impersonated a reporter with a congenital joint condition that limits movement in his arms.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign tried to use images against Trump in campaign ads.


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