Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman stumbled during Tuesday’s debate with his GOP challenger, Dr. Mehmet Oz, after he was asked about prior statements he made in opposition to fracking, a process he now says he has “always supported.”
“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.”
Pressed on the issue and how to “square” his previous comments against fracking with his current position, Fetterman said, “I do support fracking, and I don’t, I don’t — I support fracking, and I stand, and I do support fracking.”
In a 2018 YouTube interview, Fetterman said, “I don’t support fracking, at all, and I never have.”
“I’ve signed the no fossil fuels money pledge,” he added at the time. “I have never received a dime from any natural gas or oil company whatsoever.”
Fetterman, who suffered a near-fatal stroke in May, said in his opening remarks that he might miss words during the debate due to his ongoing auditory processing recovery.