Teen Vogue: How do you think the election went? And how do you feel about the Republicans’ efforts to discredit the process?
Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman: The truth is that this was the largest turnout in Pennsylvania election history. And these election workers had to put out a burning building and save a drowning baby in the river at the same time, because you’ve had this tsunami of voters in person, and then you had this wave of mail-in ballots on a scale that we’ve never experienced. But they did everything perfectly and beautifully. And then they were hamstrung by a legislature that refused to allow even a small window of 24 to 48 hours to pre-canvas, which is just nothing more than opening envelopes and flattening the ballots so they can be scanned. So we knew going into this that you’d have a red wave of a lot of [in-person] votes, and then you’d have a big blue wave [of mail-in votes], and they would crash into each other, and the one that ended up a little bit higher would be the one who wins. And that’s exactly what happened. The one instance of [alleged] voter fraud in Pennsylvania was a Republican in Luzerne County, who tried to vote for his dead mom. And until I’m presented with other evidence that suggests otherwise, that’s it.
I consider it just a campaign of lies, and let me be clear, not one person, from the president on down, genuinely believes anything that they’re saying. They know that it was a fair process — they know that this is the actual reality — because it worked fine in 2016. I didn’t hear anyone on the Trump side complaining about election integrity in 2016. And now you are in a position where the media is acknowledging someone who is claiming election fraud from the world’s biggest microphone, without any proof. To me that is the metaphorical equivalent of yelling fire in a crowded theater. That is not protected speech.
TV: Why do you think they’re doing this? If everyone except Trump knows this is just smoke and mirrors, what is the point?
JF: I don’t know. I think the only possible explanation could be that there is an endgame that suits his ego, or he has to go out on his terms, or whatever. I mean, it’s dysfunctional no matter what the motivation is for the endgame. But the truth is that math doesn’t care what your feelings are. And the math on the ground in Pennsylvania is damning for the president. He knows it; we know it. And that’s where it’s at. And not one single thing that the Republicans have raised on a national or local level has had any merit to it.
Gisele Barreto Fetterman: Even our kids, who are six, nine and 11, they’re like, “Mom, when we lose a game, you tell us to just take it gracefully and call it a day!”
TV: It’s been such a contentious election with so much hatred and vitriol, like what you experienced, Mrs. Fetterman, when you were verbally attacked by that racist. Biden is a much different person than Trump, but he’s not going to be able to wave a magic wand and fix racism or fix white supremacy. How do you think a nation that’s so divided, and in a state that’s so divided, can move forward?
GBF: It’s a beginning, right? You’re now going to have a leader who does not constantly demean people, make fun of them, make a mockery of them — that’s going to be the first change. I think people are mostly good. The behaviors that I experienced with that woman, someone taught her that, and our president has probably taught a lot of people these negative things as well. I don’t know how she voted, right? I don’t know what she believes. I don’t know what’s going on in her world. But someone taught her that in her life, and I just hope she didn’t teach that to kids or grandkids. We are all responsible for breaking the cycle, and there’s a lot of healing that has to happen. But this is the beginning of it.