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Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman said at one point in his political career that he had a “Black Lives Matter-like worldview” and seemed to insist that crime rates in major cities were tied to the extent to which they “don’t embrace” the movement. , calling the notion “common sense”.
Fetterman’s remarks, offered during an interview with The Pitt News in August 2016, came during his tenure as mayor of Braddock after he failed to secure his party’s Senate nomination earlier that year.
“Let me challenge the anti-establishment,” Fetterman said. “I have never positioned myself as a protester. In fact, I was the only elected member of my race, I specify. Katie McGinty has never held an elective mandate and [Joe] Sestak’s only elected office was a term, I believe, in Congress before he started running. So this idea that I was anti-establishment – I just ran on what I thought were important common sense issues, whether it was living wages, legalizing marijuana, some sort of vision of the Black Lives Matter world, but also community policing.
Fetterman, who said at the time that he did not consider his stance on various issues to be “radical,” said it was “common sense” that cities that “don’t embrace” the Black Lives Matter movement Matter have higher crime rates.
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“All these different issues I ran on never seemed to be radical or very leftist, they just seemed like common sense to me. It’s like, what if you don’t kiss Black Lives Matter? Well, you look at what’s happening in Baltimore, at what’s happening in Chicago. I mean, it’s common sense.”
Fetterman drew criticism late last month after claiming ID should not be required to vote because ‘poorer’ people and ‘people of color’ are ‘less likely to have their identity card.
Fetterman’s now-viral clip, from a 2021 interview between him and liberal pundit Brian Tyler Cohen, featured the candidate’s perspective on why requiring universal voter ID in Pennsylvania is a bad idea. In it, he said: “In my own state they will pass, attempt to pass, a constitutional amendment ensuring that universal voting identity – for every time you vote, not just when you register for vote, but every time you vote.”
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Fetterman explained the so-called dark motive behind this amendment, stating that it will pass “because they understand that at any given time there are tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians who are generally on the poorer side and are people of color who are less likely to have their ID cards at some point.”
The Democratic Senate candidate has also come under fire for a resurfaced incident in 2013 in which he fired a shotgun at an unarmed black jogger he suspected of being involved in a nearby shooting. Fetterman has since said his actions were wrong, but initially defended himself by saying he heard the sound of automatic gunfire and rushed to confront the man he suspected of to be responsible. Fetterman held the man, Christopher Miyares, then 28, at gunpoint. Police who arrived at the scene searched Miyares and found he was unarmed.
Fetterman, who has served as Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor since 2019, campaigned Monday alongside three West Philadelphia council members who publicly supported the Black Lives Matter movement and backed calls to “defund the police.”
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“Three outstanding council members who are with me in my fight to get every vote here in Philadelphia Support local black-owned businesses,” Fetterman said of the council members in a tweet.
Fetterman will face Republican candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz in the November general election in a bid to become the next U.S. senator from Pennsylvania.
Fox News’ Gabriel Hays and Thomas Barrabi contributed to this article.