President Joe Biden called Philadelphia Phillies fans “virulent” and “obnoxious” on Tuesday.
The comments occurred ahead of the Phillies taking on the Houston Astros in the third game of the World Series. The former team won the first game 6 to 5, while the latter team won the second game 5 to 2.
Associated Press White House Correspondent Zeke Miller reported on social media that the commander-in-chief called enthusiasts of the baseball franchise “the most virulent, obnoxious fans in the world” during a fundraiser for Florida gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist. He added that he would be “sleeping alone” if he failed to support Philadelphia teams since his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, is a fan of her hometown sports.
The First Lady is slated to attend the fourth game of the World Series since the event will honor those affected by cancer, according to a report from NBC 10 Philadelphia. The Biden administration recently announced efforts to battle the disease.
Far beyond its sports franchises, Philadelphia and the Keystone State are in the national spotlight ahead of the upcoming midterm elections. The commonwealth’s Senate race is presently a tossup between Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman and Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz.
The two nominees participated last week in the contest’s first and only debate. Fetterman, who has struggled with cognition following a stroke in May, floundered and offered incoherent responses as moderators questioned him on his record and policy agenda.
Oz, repeatedly raising examples of conversations he has shared with Pennsylvanians over the past several months, blasted Fetterman, who did not commit during the debate to releasing his medical records, on his absence from the campaign. In turn, Fetterman criticized Oz for his longtime residence in New Jersey. Even with a closed captioning system positioned behind the moderators designed to aid his auditory processing, Fetterman struggled to remain coherent.
Conservative and liberal pundits largely concurred that Fetterman’s poor performance and lack of transparency regarding his health were concerning. The Oz campaign later hired a mobile billboard to park outside of a Fetterman fundraiser attended by Biden to play the debate in its entirety. “Pennsylvanians deserve to see this debate as much as possible since John Fetterman ducked six others,” Oz campaign communications director Brittany Yanick said in a statement. “He won’t be able to escape it during his fundraiser with the inflator-in-chief.”
Multiple polls taken after the debate showed Oz with a newfound lead over his rival. “Pennsylvanians are rallying around Dr. Oz’s message of restoring balance to Washington because they know Dr. Oz will help to finally lower inflation and gas prices, protect our communities, and improve the lives of all Americans,” Yanick said in another statement.
When asked during the debate about which team they would support in the October 30 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles, Fetterman expressed support for the former franchise while Oz backed the latter. The Eagles defeated the Steelers 35 to 13.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is presently leading Republican State Senator Doug Mastriano. The candidate has received little support from establishment Republicans even as Shapiro broke the commonwealth’s gubernatorial campaign spending record.