MSNBC to Fetterman: ‘Do You Get Inspiration From People Like Lincoln’ Who ‘Fought’ Depression and ’Changed the World?'

May 9, 2023

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough asked Sen. John Fetterman (D., Pa.) whether he's inspired by historical leaders who battled depression.

"Did you get inspiration from people like Lincoln and Churchill who struggled with depression their whole lives and yet fought through it and changed the world?" Scarborough asked during a Monday interview with the senator.

Fetterman replied, "Yeah" and said he believes there is a "nobility" to suffering. 

"It toughens you up or whatever," Fetterman said. The senator read from a screen displaying Scarborough's questions throughout the interview. 

The question comes after Fetterman was released in March from Walter Reed Medical Center, where he was hospitalized for six weeks for severe depression. The senator is still struggling from the effects of a stroke during last year's Senate campaign that have contributed to his depression. Fetterman stumbled through his opening statement as chairman of a Senate agriculture committee last month, mispronouncing words and names.

The media have been largely deferential to the senator and have framed his health struggles as a strength. Upon his release from hospitalization last month, CBS asked Fetterman whether he has "aspirations" beyond the Senate.