Head of Republican Party mocks speaking abilities of Fetterman, Biden


Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on Thursday derided the speaking abilities of Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate who is recovering from a stroke, and President Biden, who grew up with a stutter.

McDaniel was interviewed by syndicated radio host Hugh Hewitt about news that Biden and Vice President Harris plan to appear at a political event in Philadelphia on Friday with the intention of giving Fetterman and other Pennsylvania Democrats a boost on the ballot.

“No one wants them except for a doomed campaign,” Hewitt said, suggesting 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 those three can do politically,” continued Hewitt, a contributing columnist for the Washington Post. “I hope there are cameras and microphones, because you put those three together and they could say anything, Ronna.”

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

Pennsylvania Senate candidates squared off in their first and only debate in Harrisburg, Pa., on October 25. (Video: JM Rieger/The Washington Post)

McDaniel noted that she agreed with Hewitt about the unpleasantness of campaigning with Biden and Harris, speculating that Fetterman “drew the short straw.”

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“I think all the candidates came together and said, ‘Which one of us has to campaign with Biden?’ [Fetterman] drew the short straw,” McDaniel said.

He added, “So Biden said, ‘Between the two of us, maybe 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, the celebrity doctor.

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During Tuesday night’s debate, Fetterman at times stumbled over his words and spoke slurred.

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

“Even those Democrats on CNN were embarrassed about who their nominee was and the ability to get the job done,” McCarthy said. “This is a big job in the Senedd.”

McDaniel is not the first prominent Republican to mock someone with a disability. During a 2015 campaign appearance, Donald Trump impersonated a reporter with a congenital joint condition that limits movement in his arms.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign tried to use images of Trump doing that against him in campaign ads.


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