White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Wednesday that President Biden finds Pennsylvania Democrat U.S. Senate nominee John Fetterman as “impressive,” but declined to weigh in on whether he should release medical records.
Jean-Pierre made the comments during Wednesday’s White House press briefing, which followed a debate between Fetterman and Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz.
“In personal conversations that the president has had with the lieutenant governor, the president has found him to be an impressive, incredibly bright and talented person who’s just as capable as always to carry the duties of his office,” Jean-Pierre said. “And that is what the president has observed himself.”
Fetterman’s health has been a focal point in the election, as he suffered a stroke five months ago. Dr. Oz’s campaign has repeatedly made requests to view the lieutenant governor’s medical records, to which he gave a flat “no” when asked during the debate.
“My doctor believes that I am fit to be serving, and that’s what I believe is where I’m standing,” Fetterman said when asked if he would release his medical records on Tuesday night.
When asked by a reporter if Biden believes Fetterman should release his medical records, Jean-Pierre declined to weigh in.
“I’ve been asked this question and I leave that over to the lieutenant governor to make that decision,” she said.
In response to a reporter’s question, Jean-Pierre said that she wasn’t sure if Biden watched the debate, adding that she couldn’t reach him on Wednesday because of his meeting with Israeli President Isaac Herzog.
In an appearance on CNN’s “The Situation Room” Tuesday night, Jean-Pierre added that Biden has no concerns about Fetterman.
“You have said that the president finds the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate, John Fetterman, to be impressive and a capable individual. After last night’s debate, does he have any concerns about Fetterman?,” Wolf Blitzer asked.
“Not at all. Look, Fetterman, as we know, he’s also lieutenant governor. He’s been able to serve in that role. He is. I’ve also said the president sees him as an authentic advocate for the middle class, and that matters. And so the president has been with lieutenant governor for quite some time over the past several months,” Jean-Pierre responded.
During Tuesday’s debate, Fetterman appeared to make a major policy change in supporting fracking, something he previously voiced opposition to.
“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, never taken any money from their industry, but I support how critical it is that we produce our energy and create energy independence.”
When Fetterman was pressed by the moderator on how his response compares with his previous position, he said “I do support fracking, and I don’t, I don’t — I support fracking, and I stand, and I do support fracking.”
Fox News’ Kyle Morris contributed to this report.