Fetterman blames depression on brutal Dr. Oz campaign

U.S. Sen. John Fetterman has blamed his recent bout of depression partly on the alleged “brutality” he’d faced from running against Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz during the 2022 general election.

“Fetterman attributes the depression in January not only to his stroke last May but also to what he calls a brutal campaign last fall,” Pittsburgh station KDKA reported Tuesday following an interview with him.

“It was after the brutality of the campaign, the other side. Some people believe it was one of the most vicious political campaigns,” he said in his own words.

However, he stressed that he doesn’t explicitly blame Dr. Oz for his condition.

“I wasn’t being the kind of senator Pennsylvania deserved, I wasn’t being the kind of husband Gisele deserved, I wasn’t being the kind of father my children deserved,” he added.

It was this — not being at his best — that’d inspired him to seek help in January. Months later, he now claims he’s in tip-top shape mentally.

“I feel fantastic, honestly. A lot of people have been asking, ‘Hey, how are you feeling, how’s your depression?’ It’s in remission, and I am just so grateful to be feeling great,” he told KDKA.

Not everybody was pleased by his attempt to indirectly pin his depression on Oz’s campaign.


Fetterman seems to have a history of blaming anyone and anything but himself.

After he debated Oz back in October, he blamed closed captioning technology for his poor performance — never mind that his side had requested the tech.

“We are thrilled with John’s performance. He did remarkably well tonight – especially when you consider that he’s still recovering from a stroke and was working off of delayed captions filled with errors,” his communications director, Joe Calvello, told reporters at the time.

“John won countless exchanges, counter-punched aggressively, and pushed back on Oz’s cruelty and attacks,” Calvello added.

Nexstar Media Group, the company that hosted the debate, staunchly disagreed.

“It is unfortunate that Mr. Fetterman is now criticizing the closed captioning process employed by Nexstar during tonight’s debate. Both candidates agreed to the technical set-up for the closed captioning process weeks ago, which was implemented at the request of the Fetterman campaign,” Nexstar’s chief communications officer, Gary Weitman, said in a statement, as reported by NewsNation.

“Both candidates were offered the opportunity for two full rehearsals with the same equipment used in tonight’s debate; Mr. Fetterman chose to do only one. In fact, Nexstar’s production team went to extraordinary lengths to ensure the effectiveness of the closed captioning process, and to accommodate several last-minute requests of the Fetterman campaign. The closed captioning process functioned as expected during rehearsal and again during tonight’s debate. We regret that Mr. Fetterman and his campaign feel otherwise.”

Dovetailing back to his interview with KDKA, at one point the interviewer bluntly asked him, “Is John Fetterman really fit, mentally and physically, to be a United States senator?”

“That certainly is very blunt, but my answer will be blunt, too. Hell, yes, and that’s why I’m doing it. Just the way any Pennsylvanians are working, you take it a day and a day and work hard, and that’s exactly what I am doing here,” the senator replied.

If he is indeed finally ready, it’ll have come months into his tenure as a senator.

As previously reportedly, Fetterman voluntarily checked himself into Walter Reed Medical Center for depression just a month after assuming office.

Fetterman’s chief of staff, Adam Jentleson, sent out a statement at the time announcing the development: “Last night, Senator John Fetterman checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to receive treatment for clinical depression. While John has experienced depression on and off throughout his life, it only became severe in recent weeks.”

The statement went on to add that the senator was evaluated by the Attending Physician of the Congress, Dr. Brian P. Monahan and that the doctor had “recommended inpatient care at Walter Reed.” Fetterman complied with the recommendation and is now “receiving treatment on a voluntary basis.”

“After examining John, the doctors at Walter Reed told us that John is getting the care he needs, and will soon be back to himself,” the statement asserted.


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Vivek Saxena


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