Schumer, on hot mic, admits to Biden that Fetterman hurt his chances in Oz debate

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday admitted in a hot-mic moment that Pennsylvania Senate Democratic candidate John Fetterman hurt his chances with a shaky debate performance Tuesday night. 

“It looks like the debate didn’t hurt us too much in Pennsylvania as of today,” Schumer, D-N.Y., told President Biden on the tarmac during Biden’s trip to New York on Thursday. “So that’s good.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., center, and President Biden speak on the tarmac during Biden’s visit to Syracuse, New York, on Thursday.
(White House Travel Pool)

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Fetterman often struggled to communicate during his debate against Republican candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz due to lingering effects from a stroke he suffered earlier this year. Fetterman needed closed captioning to understand comments from Oz and the moderators during the debate.

Schumer and Democrats are in a neck-and-neck fight with Republicans over who will control the Senate next Congress, with Pennsylvania one of the races that could tip the majority one way or another.  

During the conversation with Biden, Schumer also appeared to refer to a different Senate seat, for which the Democratic leader didn’t have an optimistic forecast. 

Pennsylvania Senate Democratic candidate John Fetterman participates in a debate with GOP challenger Dr. Mehmet Oz in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday.

Pennsylvania Senate Democratic candidate John Fetterman participates in a debate with GOP challenger Dr. Mehmet Oz in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday.
(NewsNation)

“That seat, we’re in danger in that seat,” Schumer said. “We’ll see.”

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It’s not clear exactly what seat Schumer was referring to. But he appeared to be responding to a comment from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who said the person is “a nice man” and “one of the only moderates” who “always works with us.”

Schumer also weighed in on close Senate races in Georgia and Nevada. 

“I think we’re picking up steam in Nevada,” he said. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told President Biden on Thursday that he didn't think Democrat candidate John Fetterman's debate hurt him too much in the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told President Biden on Thursday that he didn’t think Democrat candidate John Fetterman’s debate hurt him too much in the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race. 
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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“The state where we’re going down, though, is Georgia. It’s hard to believe that they will go for Herschel Walker,” Schumer added. 

He also mentioned that turnout in Georgia for early voting was “huge.”

The Senate is currently split 50-50, with Democrats in the majority technically because Vice President Harris can break tie votes. Republicans need to pick up just one seat in order to take a majority, which could allow them to stymie much of Biden’s agenda for the rest of his term.

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