Fetterman says he’s not freaked out that some Republicans like him

Sen. John Fetterman (D-Penn.) on Sunday said he is not troubled by some Republicans liking him after he has broken with liberal Democrats on the Israel-Hamas war and the U.S. southern border.

In an interview with Fetterman on NewsNation’s “The Hill Sunday,” anchor Chris Stirewalt asked the Pennsylvania Democrat if it ever “freaks” him out that Republicans like him “so much.”

“I think that my parents like me, they’ve been…they’re lifelong Republicans,” Fetterman quipped. “And that’s the thing, I don’t have like a litmus test on…it’s like, ‘Well, I can’t like someone if they have different views, and we don’t have to agree on everything.”

Fetterman, who is serving his first term in the Senate, pointed to the recent Congressional foreign aid package to discuss the ability to reach a bipartisan agreement.  The package includes long sought funding for Israel, global humanitarian aid for Gaza and other places, Ukraine and U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific.

“It’s very clear that in Washington, you got to work together for what’s the right thing. And I was very proud to vote for the gigantic bill just less than a week ago and that was almost 80 votes out of there,” Fetterman said, in reference to the final Senate vote of 79-18 for the package.

“That’s a dramatic statement that we made and the House first standing with democracy and our allies, Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan and also huma aid for Gaza,” he continued. “And I don’t understand why anybody would vote against that, but I can still have a beer with them… It’s just I don’t check and see what letters after someone’s name [for] whether I can get along with them.”

Fetterman is a steadfast supporter of Israel in its war against Hamas following the militant group’s Oct. 7 attacks and argues the militant group is responsible for Israel’s counteroffensive in Gaza that has killed more than 34,000 people. It comes as many from the left pull back their support of Israel.

POLITICO reported in January that several GOP senators have expressed a liking of Fetterman, which has irked progressives.

Stirewalt on Sunday noted Fetterman was once considered a “progressive hero,” to which Fetterman interjected, “With all due respect, I really haven’t changed on that.”

“And I feel like I’ve been very consistent on those things. And then when…I’ve been saying that for years, like I really don’t identify myself as progressive,” Fetterman said. “And I’ve said this before, it’s not that I’ve changed but that word has changed. And… I’m just a Democrat, and I’ve been very clear, and I think consistent.”

NewsNation is owned by Nexstar Media Group, which also owns The Hill.

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