Fetterman tears up in emotional speech on bullying due to his disability, but not everyone is buying it

U.S. Sen. John Fetterman is facing backlash on social media for complaining about the alleged bullying he’s faced over his supposed disability.

Speaking at a U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging this Thursday, the senator became emotional as he explained all that he’s had to contend with ever since he suffered a stroke last year.


“For me, it’s been a very personal issue with me. And I’m going to show this, and then I’m going to describe this to others. This is my iPhone, and this is a transcription service that allows me to fully participate in this meeting and conversations with my children and interacting with my staff,” Fetterman began.

“I had a stroke about 18 months ago, and I have lost my ability to fully process language. And I like to think I was an empathetic person, truly, but until that happened, I’ve raised to a whole different kind of level as well. And it’s profound to know though that I never really considered that without this kind of technology, I couldn’t watch television. And I can’t imagine if I didn’t have this kind of a bridge to allow me to communicate with other people effectively,” he added.

It’s at this point that he grew emotional and his voice began to crack.

“And, you know, because I live in a political environment, I was ridiculed and made fun of because I wasn’t able to process things sometimes or say things sometimes. … I’m so sorry. I’m sure many of you had to go through this kind of thing.  I was lucky enough to go through my life, the vast majority of that, without this kind of disability that I have,” he said.

“But again, I can’t imagine and how the the challenges,  and admire everyone that has to kind of live with these kind of struggles and prevail over them. And the questions that I have is really more of an open-ended kind of question to everyone on the panel. How can we become more empathetic, more responsive, and more effective senators to provide the kind of support and services that anyone in these communities deserve?” he concluded.

While critics appear to have plenty of sympathy and compassion for his stroke side effects, they’re far less OK with the lies that have been told to keep him in office.

“So when you’re running for election you hide your stroke and lie about it’s severity. But when you’re elected you use the stroke as a crutch and excuse and it becomes your identity. Got it,” one critic tweeted.

See more responses below:

The National Republican Senatorial Committee previously addressed Fetterman’s stroke-related lies in a press release published last year.

“John Fetterman just can’t stop lying to Pennsylvanians. First, he lied about how serious his stroke was. Then, Fetterman’s campaign said he was 90% recovered and ready to get back on the trail. But when it came time to debate, Fetterman said he wasn’t fully recovered. He’s either lying about his health or dodging debates because he can’t defend his radical positions,” the press release reads.

“Now, Fetterman has the audacity to say that he’s never been hiding any of his health issues. That’s another lie. If Fetterman can’t tell the truth about his health, how can Pennsylvanians trust him to be a Senator?” it continues.

Dovetailing back to the present, critics also went after Fetterman because he’d spent most of the week mocking Republicans for complaining about the Senate’s new dress code that was inspired by him.

Case in point:

Also, speaking of the dress code, critics wondered how his stroke explains his decision to dress like a slob.



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