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Fetterman Gets Nailed by Debate Moderator on Straight-Up Lie, Then Gives Strange Answer

Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman on Tuesday stumbled over an answer to explain his current claim of support for hydrofracking with his past opposition to the process that’s revolutionized natural gas production. Fetterman suffered a major stroke in May, and has at times had difficulties with his speech, though he claims to be fit for the office. He and Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz are competing for the Senate seat currently held by retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey. The two men met in a debate Tuesday night, and fracking – drilling into shale deposits to access the natural gas trapped there – was among the issues. The critical question is on the video below. Oz’s answer comes first. Fetterman’s questioning starts about the 27:55 mark. The moderator, Lisa Sylvester of WXPI-TV in Pittsburgh, noted that in a 2018 interview, Fetterman was quoted as saying: “I don’t support fracking at all. I never have.” On the stage Tuesday, he said the opposite. “I’ve always supported fracking and I always believe that independence with our energy is critical, and we can’t be held, you know, ransom to somebody like Russia,” Fetterman said. “I’ve always believed that energy independence is critical and I’ve always believed that — and I do support fracking, I’ve never taken any money from their industry, but I support how critical it is that we produce our energy and create energy independence.” Sylvester didn’t let the contradiction go. “You’re saying tonight that you support fracking, that you’ve always supported fracking,” she prodded. “But there is that 2018 interview that you said, quote, ‘I don’t support fracking at all.’ So, how do you square the two?” The silence that followed was similar to other moments throughout the debate as Fetterman read the close-captioned script that had been provided for him to make up for auditory problems caused by the stroke. But in this case, it heightened the suspense. “I do support fracking, and I don’t … I don’t. I support fracking, and I stand … and I do support fracking,”  Fetterman finally got out. The debate moved on, but there’s no denying the damage that was done. Fetterman has a record of opposing fracking in his first campaign for a U.S. Senate seat in 2016, according to Fox News. Fetterman was seeking the Democratic nomination to run against Toomey then, but lost in the primary. In 2016 he called for a moratorium on fracking in Pennsylvania and called it a “stain” on Pennslyvania. In 2018, he continued his opposition, Fox News reported. Fetterman campaign spokesman Joe Calvello has said Fetterman is a solid supporter of fracking. “John does not support a fracking moratorium or ban. If you were paying attention to our campaign, you would have known this has not been his position for years and that he was attacked in the primary over his support of fracking,” he told Fox News in July. “In fact, throughout his career John has stood up to politicians to fight for U.S. Steel’s right to build fracking wells.” During the debate, Oz was also called to account for a past anti-fracking position. In a 2014 column, Oz said fracking should be halted pending a health study, according to WCBD-TV. But in a March social media post, he wrote, “So back off Biden, give us freedom to frack.” During the debate, Oz said, “I’ve been very consistent,” he said. “Fracking has been demonstrated — it’s a very old technology — to be safe. It is a lifeline for this commonwealth to be able to build wealth similar to what they’ve been able to achieve in other states,” he said. “For that reason, I strongly support fracking.” This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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