Fetterman emerges as fierce Biden defender, comparing post-stroke debate to Biden blunder


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Sen. John Fetterman, D-Penn., quickly became perhaps the most vocal and decisive advocate for President Biden’s remaining at the top of the Democrats’ ticket following his poor performance at the first presidential debate against former President Trump last month. 

“I refuse to join the Democratic vultures on Biden’s shoulder after the debate. No one knows more than me that a rough debate is not the sum total of the person and their record,” the Pennsylvania senator wrote on X, formerly Twitter, shortly after the debate ended and reports of panic among Democrats had emerged. 

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Joe Biden and John Fetterman split image

“Hard disagree and deeply disappointing,” Fetterman said in response to Biden’s claims that he would potentially halt weapons shipments to Israel.  (Getty Images)

“Morning-after thermonuclear beat downs from my race from the debate and polling geniuses like 538 predicted l’d lose by 2. And what happened? The only seat to flip and won by a historic margin (+5). Chill the f— out,” he wrote, referencing his election in 2022 against Republican Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz. 

After suffering a stroke during his campaign, Fetterman took tough criticism for his debate performance against his opponent, particularly because of his communication and auditory issues on full display. 

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Fetterman walking with phone

During a recent interview with NBC News, Sen. John Fetterman, D-Penn., declared that he’s “not a progressive.” (Photographer: Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

But, as he pointed out, he won the race, flipping a formerly red Senate seat. 

Biden, 81 years old, has not had a stroke.

In the days since Biden’s lacking debate showing, Fetterman has continued to advocate for the president, unprompted. In response to the New York Times’ editorial board calling on Biden to drop out, the junior Pennsylvania senator said “f— that.” 

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Joe Biden

A wild New York magazine feature detailing a “conspiracy” to protect President Biden’s mental decline left readers stunned by claims that elite Democrats have long known about cognitive issues that have been under a microscope since last week’s disastrous debate.  (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

The Pennsylvania Democrats’ fierce defense of Biden after the debate comes as he has become something of a renegade in his party, particularly on the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza and the subsequent protests and encampments on college campuses. 

While Fetterman has apparently been more than willing to defend Biden’s status on the Democratic ticket and his debate performance, other Democratic lawmakers have been much more measured in their responses, frequently only sounding off on the situation when asked directly by reporters. Others, specifically those running for re-election in November, have even held off on saying whether Biden should be the nominee, avoiding questions on the subject. 

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Maura Healey

Gov. Maura Healey, D-Mass., publicly urged President Biden to consider dropping out of the presidential race, suggesting the president listen to the American people and considering whetherhad  he is the best person to beat former President Donald Trump. (Photographer: Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Despite his campaign and the president himself assuring the public that he isn’t leaving the race, some members of the party have continued to express doubt and concern. Most recently, a top ally of Biden, Gov. Maura Healey, D-Mass., urged the president to “carefully evaluate whether he remains our best hope to defeat Donald Trump.” 

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Her statement came after Biden had already assured a group of Democratic governors that he was seeing the race through in a meeting on Wednesday. 

Biden’s campaign noted that the president has received support from several other Democrats, including Govs. Gavin Newsom, D-Calif., Gretchen Whitmer, D-Mich., and Wes Moore, D-Md., among others. 

Fetterman’s office did not provide comment to Fox News Digital in time for publication. 

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.



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