John Fetterman, the Democratic candidate for the Pennsylvania Senate, announced on Tuesday that he will not debate Mehmet Oz next week,
Citing his ongoing recovery from a stroke and called Oz's attempts to challenge him to a debate a "farce."
The fight over debates is a time-honored tradition in American politics, with the trailing contender typically wanting additional debates in an attempt to force an opponent into a bad performance.
The state's lieutenant governor, Fetterman, leads Oz by 9 points in the FiveThirtyEight average of surveys, despite being mainly away from the campaign trail since May due to pacemaker surgery.
Tuesday, however, a spokeswoman for Oz, a famous cardiologist known for his daytime television show, called Fetterman a "liar, a liberal, and a coward"
Fetterman stated, "Today's comments from Dr. Oz's crew made it very evident that they find it amusing to insult a stroke victim."
My rehabilitation may seem like a joke to Dr. Oz and his staff, but it's extremely genuine to me.
He stated, "I look forward to continuing to interact with the people of Pennsylvania as I heal from my stroke and strengthen my auditory processing and speaking."