President Joe Biden appeared at a weekend campaign event in Pennsylvania supporting Democratic candidates in the state including John Fetterman, who is running for Senate, and Josh Shapiro, who is contending against Republican Doug Mastriano for governor.
Although Fetterman led in polling for awhile, surveys abruptly began showing a much closer race between the Democratic contender and Republican opponent Mehmet Oz, aka Dr. Oz, with the election fast approaching. (Shapiro maintains a strong lead in polling, although surveys are obviously always imperfect, and only the actual results will show something conclusive.) Former President Barack Obama also showed up at the event where Biden spoke on Fetterman’s behalf this weekend, criticizing the GOP for taking action that results in suppressing the vote. In another speech supporting Fetterman, Obama also joked about Oz’s infamous background in daytime television. “If somebody’s willing to peddle snake oil to make a buck, then he’s probably willing to sell snake oil to get elected,” Obama told listeners.
As for Biden, he recounted some of the successes of his administration and some of what Democrats could do if successful in the Pennsylvania race. “Look, folks, I want to be very clear, and I mean this sincerely, about what’s on the ballot this year,” Biden told rally attendees. “Your right to choose is on the ballot. Your right to vote is on the ballot. Social Security and Medicare is on the ballot. There’s something else on the ballot: character. Character is on the ballot. When I think of character, I think of John Fetterman… Look, like a lot of us, John has gotten knocked down, but he gets back up. He’s gotten up quickly. John has character, integrity, and he’s going to be a hell of a good senator — United States senator for Pennsylvania.”
One of the policy areas Biden covered was access to abortion, which is now the responsibility of legislative leaders after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. “The overturning of Roe wasn’t the end for them, it was just the beginning,” Biden said. “States are already passing bans without exception for rape or incest or the life of the mother. And Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, he’s going to make sure that if Oz is elected, and other Republicans, they’re going to ban choice completely… But if we elect John Fetterman to the Senate and keep control of the House, we can restore the right to choose in this country by codifying Roe v. Wade and make it the law of the land.”
Many restrictions on abortion include exceptions for cases in which pregnant individuals’ lives are in danger, although questions could linger about how serious a case must get before qualifying for such an exemption. During that deliberation process, serious and long-lasting health consequences could be sustained. As for Oz, he has expressed support for deciding on access to abortion at the state level, but there’s nothing making it so Oz can’t change his mind if he wins and no longer faces pressure from voters.
“Democracy is literally on the ballot,” Biden — who also joked that he lived in Pennsylvania for longer than Oz has done so — said. “This is a defining moment for the nation. And we all must speak with one voice regardless of our party. There’s no place in America for political violence… Folks, I’ve never been more optimistic about America’s prospects. And I mean it from the bottom of my heart. I’ve never been more optimistic. Looking around this crowd, it reinforces what I think: The generation between the ages of 18 and 30 is the most involved, the most generous, the least prejudiced, and the most engaged generation in American history. I look at America reasserting itself around the world and leading the world in the 21st century. I’ve traveled this country and seen this great nation because we are good people. I know this. There’s no quit in John Fetterman. There’s no quit in Pennsylvania. There is no quit in America… So, vote! Get out and vote.”