John Fetterman Losing Staff Over Israel Stance

John Fetterman was the rising Democratic star. A giant of a man who hates wearing anything besides a hoodie and prefers discussing working-class issues became pivotal to Democrats keeping the Senate when he defeated TV host Mehmet Oz in 2022. 

That all changed on October 7, 2023, though. That’s when the Pennsylvania senator revealed that he does not despise Israel enough for progressives. 

The Washington Examiner explained how the once darling of progressivism has started bleeding staff as the leftwing worldview has been mugged by reality. 

According to reporting from the Philadelphia Inquirer, deputy communications director Nick Gavio’s last day in the office is Friday. His departure follows the resignations of Fetterman’s former communications director Joe Calvello and press aide Emma Mustion earlier this month.

Calvello now works for Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, while Gavio is jumping over to join the Working Families Party, both far more progressive workplaces. Mustion left Fetterman’s office to work on the reelection campaign of the other Pennsylvania senator, Bob Casey (D-PA). 

Fetterman has faced growing criticism over his staunch support for Israel and calls for Democrats to engage in tougher immigration laws, putting him at odds with members of his party. During his 2022 campaign, the Pennsylvania senator campaigned as a progressive outsider. He was endorsed by progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and had previously supported Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-VT) 2016 presidential run.

Fetterman’s former staff members have not said publicly why they are leaving the senator’s office, but their new employment choices suggest a deep contrast with the freshman senator. The two had previously worked on Sanders’s 2020 presidential campaign.

Fetterman’s experience with the far left has seen him drop the progressive brand. CNN wrote last December that he had renounced that label.

“I would just call myself a Democrat,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper earlier this month. “And I believe that I’m on the right side of issues, whether that’s being very pro-choice, maybe that I believe that is being pro-union, and if I believe that’s pro-Israel as well, too.”

Fetterman told Tapper, “There’s absolutely different kinds of opinions in the Democratic Party, and I’ve always been very clear that I’m going to stand on the right side of what I believe it is, and I’ve been very upfront on that as well too.”

The comments to CNN came after he explained to Jewish Insider, “I would also respectfully say that I’m not really a progressive in that sense,” in regards to the far-left’s deep hatred for Israel.

[Read More: Fox News Host Faces Defamation Suit]

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