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Image: John Fetterman
John Fetterman in Philadelphia, Pa., on Sept. 24, 2022.Ryan Collerd / AP

Republican group launches new anti-Fetterman ads

The ads, airing in Pennsylvania, highlight a 2013 incident in which Democrat John Fetterman pulled a gun on an unarmed Black man.


The Republican Jewish Coalition Victory Fund is out with two new ads in Pennsylvania's Senate race targeting Democratic nominee John Fetterman over a 2013 incident where he pulled a firearm on an unarmed Black jogger.

The ads feature two Black voters discussing the incident.

"My message to Black voters: do your homework about John Fetterman," one woman says in the first ad.

"He didn't even apologize and now he wants our vote?" she adds.

The ad is a reminder of a 2013 incident that occurred when Fetterman was mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania. After hearing shots fired outside of his home, Fetterman used his shotgun to stop an unarmed man and detain him until police arrived.

Police found the man to be unarmed and wearing running clothes and headphones.

The incident has caused a wedge between some Black Democrats in Pennsylvania and Fetterman. It's been brought up in other ads attacking Fetterman earlier this year, too.

In the second RJC ad, another Black voter tells viewers, "Now this guy's running for Senate -- you can't make that s--- up."

In a statement, the Fetterman campaign's communication director told NBC News, "There’s a reason all these attack ads never say what Dr. Oz would do about crime -- because he doesn’t have a clue. They’re using fear and lies because they don’t have any real solutions."

"Dr. Oz doesn’t know the first thing about crime, or what it takes to keep a community safe," the statement said. 

In a video released by the campaign in April, Fetterman himself addressed the incident, saying, "There was an episode over eight years ago, where I was outside with my young son who was four-years old at the time. And I heard this crushing burst of gunfire coming from a corridor that was the scene of dozens of shootings."

"I immediately made a series of split second decisions: get my son to safety, call 9-1-1," Fetterman adds. "And then I saw an individual dressed entirely in black, in a face mask, who was running from that scene in the direction of our elementary school ... I realized that I could never forgive myself if I didn't do anything and something terrible would've happened. So, I made that decision at that point to intervene."

RJC is spending over $1.5 million on this ad campaign, a press release from the group said. The ads will air in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

The same day that RJC's ad campaign was released, Future Forward PAC, an anti-Oz, pro-Fetterman group, also launched two ads blasting Oz for peddling unverified medical claims on the TV show he hosted for years before running for Senate.

"This is the lightweight Mehmet Oz, the guy who made a career promising miracle cures that turned out to be bogus," a narrator in one FF PAC ad says.

"This is John Fetterman," the narrator says later, adding, "the guy who will cut taxes for working people, slash healthcare costs and fight for a woman’s right to choose. Now, with everything going on in the world, who do you want in your corner?"