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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was overheard assuring President Joe Biden that Pennsylvania Democratic Senate hopeful John Fetterman’s stumbling debate performance on Tuesday night didn’t damage Democrats’ chances with just 11 days to go until the midterms. 

At the same time, he warned Biden that Democrats were ‘in danger’ of losing one House seat.  

‘Looks like the debate didn’t hurt us too much in Pennsylvania and we’re picking up steam in Nevada,’ Schumer told Biden as the two Democratic leaders spoke on the tarmac Thursday afternoon, as the president arrived in Syracuse, New York. 

There’s been no public polling released that has shown whether Fetterman’s performance in the Tuesday night Pennsylvania Senate against Republican candidate Mehmet Oz ruined his chances of taking the Senate seat being vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey. 

Fetterman suffered a stroke in May and is dealing with ‘auditory processing’ issues – and used closed captioning for the debate.

While Fetterman and his campaign tried preparing viewers that his performance could include awkward pauses and missed words, the after-effects of his stroke were on full display in his hour-long appearance against Oz, a polished TV doctor. 

The performance raised further questions about his health and fitness and has sparked fear among the Democrats in a race that will be decisive in determining who  

In Nevada, Democratic incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto could be bumped out of her seat by Republican Adam Laxalt, who was backed by former President Donald Trump and whose grandfather was a prominent politician in the state.  

'Looks like the debate didn't hurt us too much in Pennsylvania and we're picking up steam in Nevada,' Schumer (left) told Biden (right) as the two Democratic leaders spoke on the tarmac Thursday afternoon, as the president arrived in Syracuse, New York

‘Looks like the debate didn’t hurt us too much in Pennsylvania and we’re picking up steam in Nevada,’ Schumer (left) told Biden (right) as the two Democratic leaders spoke on the tarmac Thursday afternoon, as the president arrived in Syracuse, New York

President Joe Biden (right) greets New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (right) alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (center) as he lands in Syracuse, New York on Thursday

President Joe Biden (right) greets New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (right) alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (center) as he lands in Syracuse, New York on Thursday 

Additionally, the Democratic incumbent Gov. Steve Sisolak is facing a robust challenge from Republican Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo. 

Since the debate, messaging that Fetterman’s not equipped to take on the job is being pushed out there, with a new ad from a Trump-backed super PAC labeling the Pennsylvania lieutenant governor as ‘clueless’ and ‘weak.’ 

Fox News Channel reported Wednesday that the group MAGA, Inc. is spending $870,000 to run the ad on Pennsylvania airwaves, in an effort to boost Republican, Dr. Mehmet Oz. 

The ad links Fetterman to President Joe Biden, and uses footage of Biden tripping up the stairs of Air Force One and Fetterman saying, ‘The Eagles are so much better than the Eagles!’ 

‘The worst border crisis in American history. The worst crime wave in decades. The  threat of nuclear annihilation. Our economy collapsing,’ the narrator says. ‘Joe Biden and John Fetterman aren’t up to these challenges.’ 

‘Biden is stumbling around, and Fetterman just isn’t right,’ it continues, showing the Air Force One and Eagles clips. ‘Biden and Fetterman: liberal, clueless, weak,’ it concludes.

The ad links Fetterman to President Joe Biden, and uses footage of Biden tripping up the stairs of Air Force One

The ad links Fetterman to President Joe Biden, and uses footage of Biden tripping up the stairs of Air Force One

In the spot Fetterman, who is recovering from a stroke, says: 'The Eagles are so much better than the Eagles!'

In the spot Fetterman, who is recovering from a stroke, says: ‘The Eagles are so much better than the Eagles!’

'The worst border crisis in American history. The worst crime wave in decades. The threat of nuclear annihilation. Our economy collapsing,' the narrator says. 'Joe Biden and John Fetterman aren't up to these challenges'

‘The worst border crisis in American history. The worst crime wave in decades. The threat of nuclear annihilation. Our economy collapsing,’ the narrator says. ‘Joe Biden and John Fetterman aren’t up to these challenges’

The latest poll, which was conducted by Franklin & Marshall College prior to Tuesday night’s face-off in Harrisburg, showed Fetterman with a five point lead, but that was within the survey’s margin of error. 

Fetterman’s saving grace may be that the debate happened as votes were already being cast. 

As of Wednesday, around 635,000 Pennsylvanians had already voted.  

During the debate, Fetterman was asked to clarify his position on fracking, as moderators pointed to a 2018 interview, where the lieutenant governor expressed broad opposition to the practice, but not a ban. 

‘I do support fracking – I don’t, I don’t – I support fracking, and I do support fracking,’ he answered.

At another point, when Fetterman was asked to specifically about charges Oz made about some the Democrat’s campaign ads being pulled down for being factually inaccurate, Fetterman, instead, stuck to the topic of abortion. 

‘I’m going to let Mr. Fetterman respond specifically to the ads being pulled off the air, and we’re going to return to you, Mr. Oz,’ said one of the moderators. 

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Fetterman didn’t acknowledge the question.

‘Yeah, I want to look into the face of every woman in Pennsylvania. If you believe that the choice of your reproductive freedom belongs with Dr. Oz, than you have a choice, but if you believe that the choice for abortion belongs between you and your doctor, that’s what I fight for,’ Fetterman said. ‘Roe v. Wade for me, should be the law, he celebrated when it went down. And my campaign would fight for Roe v. Wade – and if given the opportunity to codify it into law.’ 

Wednesday night in Pittsburgh at a rally alongside Dave Matthews Band, Fetterman told supporters: ‘To be honest, doing that debate wasn’t exactly easy.’ 

‘I knew it wasn’t going to be easy having a stroke after five months,’ he continued. ‘In fact, I don’t think that’s ever been done in American political history.’ 

Fetterman’s campaign raised more than $2 million from the effort. 

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