Head of Republican Party mocks speaking abilities of Fetterman, Biden

Kiran

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on Thursday mocked Lt. Governor John Fetterman, a Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate recovering from a stroke, and President Biden, who 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 intended to boost Fetterman and other Pennsylvania Democrats on the ballot.

“Nobody wants them unless the campaign is doomed,” Hewitt said, pointing out that Democrats across the country are asking Biden and Harris to step aside.

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“I don’t underestimate what the triple poisoning of those three can do,” said Hewitt, a Washington Post contributing columnist. “I wish there was a camera and a microphone, because you put those three together and they can say anything, Ronna.”

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

Pennsylvania Senate candidates Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) and Mehmet Oz (R) square off in their first and only debate in Harrisburg, PA, October 25 (Video: JM Rieger / The Washington Post)

McDaniel indicated that he agreed with Hewitt about the unpleasantness of campaigning with Biden and Harris, suggesting that Fetterman was “drawing the short straw.”

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“I think all the candidates got together and said, ‘Which one of us should campaign with Biden?’ [Fetterman] Draw 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 celebrity doctor.

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During Tuesday night’s debate, Fetterman occasionally stumbled over his words and spoke in a halting manner.

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 are ashamed of who their nominee is and their ability to do the job,” McCarthy said. “This is a big job in the Senate.”

McDaniel isn’t the first prominent Republican to mock someone with a disability. In a 2015 campaign appearance, Donald Trump impersonated a reporter who had a congenital joint condition that limited movement in his hands.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign sought to use images of Trump doing so against her in campaign ads.

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