John Fetterman’s performance in Tuesday night’s debate was met with dismay by many of his supporters – with CNN the panel will broadly pan the Democratic nominee.

Chris Cuomo said he “struggled” and Barack Obamaformer senior counsel says Fetterman “didn’t help” his case.

Fetterman, 53, suffered a stroke on May 13 and has been fighting to regain his strength, telling voters he is making great strides but still who suffer from some persistent speech and hearing disorders.

Ahead of the debate — the only one for the Pennsylvania Senate — Fetterman’s campaign played down expectations, saying there would be “awkward pauses,” “delays and mistakes” because the Democrat will be reading subtitles because of a hearing problem. .

Fetterman is located challenged TV doctor Mehmet Ozhoping to claim a Republican Senate seat on Nov. 8.

Incumbent Lt. Gov. Fetterman was likely hoping for some support from the CNN crew, but the verdict was damning.

Charlie Dent, a former Republican congressman from Pennsylvania, said he was “surprised” and “stunned” by Fetterman’s poor performance, while Alyssa Farah Griffin, Donald Trump’s former communications director, said she was “pained to watch.”

Even CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota said she was moved by the sight.

Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman struggled at times during his hour-long debate with Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz

Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, left, debates Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz, right, Tuesday night in Harrisburg

Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, left, debates Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz, right, Tuesday night in Harrisburg

A CNN panel Tuesday night was highly critical of Fetterman's performance

A CNN panel Tuesday night was highly critical of Fetterman’s performance

Camerota, right, said she felt like Fetterman wasn't speaking with the clarity he used to

Camerota, right, said she felt like Fetterman wasn’t speaking with the clarity he used to

Charlie Dent, a former Republican congressman, sharply criticized Fetterman's speech Tuesday night

Charlie Dent, a former Republican congressman, sharply criticized Fetterman’s speech Tuesday night

“I interviewed him many times as lieutenant governor,” Camerota said.

– And he sounds – he sounded different before the stroke. In the interview, he spoke much more clearly than what I hear.”

Dent said Fetterman was not fit to engage in debate.

“I thought someone should have invoked the mercy rule 20 minutes into the debate,” he said.

“I don’t know if it was a stroke or if he’s just a bad debater or if he doesn’t understand the issues.

“He was embarrassed, confused. He shouldn’t have been there.

“And I’ve had a lot of people say why did this guy get on the ballot after that?”

“I don’t know if the debate is that important. But people look at it, they’re going to question his ability to serve.

“The bar was set very low. It should have been installed lower.”

Griffin agreed.

Republican candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz participates in a Pennsylvania Senate debate Tuesday night in Harrisburg

Republican candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz participates in a Pennsylvania Senate debate Tuesday night in Harrisburg

“I want to be careful because I think some of the most significant leaders in history have had different kinds of disabilities. I don’t think that should stop someone from serving,” she said.

“But what we saw today was a man who was not ready to be in office.

“And the lack of transparency that led to this really shocked people watching.

“It was very difficult for me to watch.

“And the question I asked myself was, is the fact that he’s struggling a result of his stroke?” Or is it because he doesn’t understand the issues?”

On NewsNation, Chris Cuomo said he was concerned about the performance.

“John Fetterman struggled,” Cuomo said. “He clearly has health issues that affect his ability to process and speak. Obviously, fitness for work will be on the table.”

He added: “It might be unfair to some for me to say, but if voters aren’t talking about it, I’ll be shocked.”

Other Democrats agreed.

David Axelrod, a Democratic strategist who served as a senior adviser to Obama, tweeted: “Fetterman needed to show he’s recovered enough and this debate certainly didn’t help.”

And while some praised Fetterman’s bravery for taking the debate stage at all, Olivia Nuzzi, Washington correspondent for New York Magazine, said, “There’s no empathy or understanding of Fetterman’s health and recovery that changes the fact that it’s absolutely painful to watch.” .

Republican critics were jubilant.

“God John Fetterman, this is worse than any of us could have imagined,” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted.

“At the moment the moderator is playing to make sure he doesn’t get another Q. I think that’s 4 in a row for @DrOz.

“Even the modern partisan media cannot cover up the fact of Fetterman’s death!”

And Stephen Miller, Donald Trump’s speechwriter, tweeted: “Just so we’re clear: this was Fetterman WITH weeks of preparation and specialized computer help.

“So what you’ve just seen is the very, very best that Fetterman can do. Which is terrible.”

Fetterman sometimes struggled to get through the hour-long argument with Oz, and his speeches were often halting and choppy.

Meanwhile, his rival TV host turned on the charm he’s honed over 13 seasons of his show and attacked Fetterman for being “extreme.”

There were pauses and stumbles throughout the debate.

Fetterman was once asked to explain his position on fracking as a moderator drew attention to the 2018 interview where the lieutenant governor expressed broad opposition to the practice but not a ban.

“I support fracking – I don’t, I don’t – I support fracking and I support fracking,” he replied.

At another time, when Fetterman was asked to be specific about allegations made by Oz that some Democratic ads were pulled due to factual inaccuracies, Fetterman instead focused on the topic of abortion.

“I’ll let Mr. Fetterman respond specifically to the off-air ad and we’ll get back to you, Mr. Oz,” one moderator said.

Fetterman did not confirm the issue.

“Yes, I want to look into the face of every woman in Pennsylvania. If you believe that the choice of your reproductive freedom belongs to Dr. Oz, you have a choice, but if you believe that the choice of abortion belongs to you and your doctor, I fight for that,” Fetterman said.

“Roe v. Wade should be the law to me, he celebrated when the case went down.

“And my campaign will fight for Roe v. Wade — and if there’s an opportunity to codify it into law.”

During the debate, Fetterman twice refused to publish his full medical history.

“My doctor ultimately thinks I’m fit for duty, and I believe that,” Fetterman said.

Both candidates opened the debate in attack mode.

“I’m running to serve Pennsylvania, he’s running to use Pennsylvania,” Fetterman said of Oz.

“Here’s a man who spent over $20 million of his own money to try to buy this place.”

Fetterman also called Oz a “liar” and blasted the TV doc for owning 10 homes, saying he couldn’t understand the plight of ordinary Pennsylvanians.

Fetterman attacked Oz for saying products bearing his name are made in China.

Oz immediately followed Fetterman into the crime scene.

“John Fetterman during this crime wave was trying to get as many murderers out of prison as possible – convicted and sentenced to life,” the TV doc said.

After Oz said Fetterman called Pennsylvania’s energy industry a “stain” on the state, the Democrat lashed out.

“He never met an oil company he didn’t touch,” Fetterman said.

A new poll, a day before John Fetterman and Mehmet Oz's first and only debate, shows the Democrat's lead over his Trump-backed rival at just 2 percent

A new poll, a day before John Fetterman and Mehmet Oz’s first and only debate, shows the Democrat’s lead over his Trump-backed rival at just 2 percent

Oz confirmed that he did not believe Pennsylvania’s minimum wage should be raised to $15 across the board, explaining that he wanted to preserve the right of businesses to pay workers less.

“I think market forces have already pushed the minimum wage up,” Oz said.

“But John Fetterman thinks the minimum wage is his parents’ weekly allowance.”

On abortion, Oz said he didn’t think the federal government should make the decision, suggesting he would not support Sen. Lindsey Graham’s 15-week federal abortion ban, but did not directly answer the question.

“I want women, doctors, local political leaders to lead the democracy that has always allowed our country to thrive,” Oz said.

“Put the best ideas where states can decide for themselves.”

Oz softened his stance, having previously called abortion at any stage “murder.”

Fetterman has consistently held a slight lead in the polls, which continues, although several recent polls show it to be close.

A CBS News poll on Tuesday showed a two-point gap between the two candidates.

According to the poll, 51 percent of Keystone State voters support Fetterman, compared to 49 percent who support Oz.

The advantage of the democratic populist is within the margin of error of 4.4 percent.