Fetterman Explains Tattoos After Tucker Carlson's Rant

The dates on his forearm are quite meaningful, Senate candidate writes
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2022 1:33 AM CDT
Updated Sep 27, 2022 5:41 AM CDT
Fetterman: Here's the Story Behind My Tattoos
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, speaks in Philadelphia, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.   (AP Photo/Ryan Collerd)

Earlier this month, Tucker Carlson went on what John Fetterman calls a "nearly 20-minute long," "unhinged" rant about Fetterman's tattoos, among other things. In an essay on NBC News on Sunday, Fetterman responded. According to the Hill, one of Carlson's comments—while decrying Fetterman as weak on crime—was, "all your stupid little fake tattoos, it’s a costume, of course. Duh, it’s not real." Fetterman explained in his essay exactly why he has nine dates tattooed on his right forearm. "Each one is a day on which someone died violently in Braddock, Pennsylvania, while I was mayor. Gun violence and violent crime might be jokes to someone like Carlson, but they are very real to people in towns like Braddock."

He lists some of the dates and their corresponding, tragic stories, writing, "As mayor, I always felt a sense of obligation and responsibility for tragedies that happened under my watch. I put these dates on my arm because I realized that we had lost the shock of these deaths. We became numb. I did it because I never saw the media or the public at large caring about these victims, most of them young Black men." He adds that while he was mayor, the city did not lose anyone to gun violence for a five-and-a-half-year stretch. "We made a difference and we saved lives. ... And I believe our model can be scaled to use at a national level," he writes, going on to explain the steps he took with police funding, youth programs, and more.

Carlson also criticized Fetterman's unconventional fashion choices ('By the way, only rich kids wear hoodies to political events"), and Fetterman's opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz, followed suit on a recent episode of a conservative podcast, Newsweek reports. Oz also used the word "costume" to refer to Fetterman's look. "If you're a far-left radical with the belief that this country is irredeemably stained, you just want to break it apart. Just bust America, crack it to its base, break it asunder and rebuild it with your toxic ideology. ... When he dresses like that, it's not an accident. He's kicking authority in the balls. He's saying, 'Hey I'm the man, I'll show those guys who's boss. I'm not gonna allow any traditional path to succeed, because by breaking some parts of it down, I can break it all down.' That's the deeper message he's delivering." (Another recent questioner of Fetterman's tattoos: Newt Gingrich, who didn't understand a song lyric reference in one of his old ones.)

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