“Cheering For The Wrong Team,” “Carnival Barker” and “Shape Shifter”: How Republicans Spent The Week Attacking Their #OHSEN Candidates

 December 3, 2021

Happy Friday, and welcome to “Buckeye Brawl,” a weekly newsletter from the Ohio Democratic Party highlighting the nasty, chaotic and expensive Republican primary for Senate. This out-of-control primary is making conservatives “deeply worried” about the prospects of Republicans losing this seat. 

As the Republican Senate primary continues to sink lower and lower, these GOP candidates are injecting even more nasty personal attacks, more chaos and more money into this race. We’re here to help you keep track of all of it. 

Here’s what you may have missed:

CHEERING FOR THE WRONG TEAM. Mike Gibbons joined two pro-Josh Mandel groups, USA Freedom Fund and Club for Growth, in attacking J.D. Vance with a new $500,000 ad buy this week. Gibbons’ ad attacks Vance for his anti-Trump past, saying, “Who’s cheering for the wrong team? J.D. Vance. Vance called President Trump an ‘idiot’ and ‘reprehensible.’” On the scoreboard with Vance’s face on it reads, “Home of the RINOS.” Gibbons’ ad is the first candidate-on-candidate attack ad – and we have five months to go. We have to admit we’re having a ball with the ad blitz hitting J.D. Vance for the phony he is but it’s only fair we point out that Gibbons donated to John Kasich, Carly Fiorina (remember her?), and Marco Rubio.  

AGAINST TRUMP AND PRO-KASICH. During Monday’s forum, Mandel attacked several of the candidates for staying with Kasich and opposing Trump when he was the Republican nominee in 2016. Mandel said, “In 2016, when a lot of people up on this stage were with John Kasich until the bitter end, when some of the people up on this stage with me were against Donald Trump when he was running against Hillary Clinton…” 

TIMKEN CAN’T STAND ME. At this week’s forum, Mandel was asked if he thinks he could turn off moderate voters and he used the opportunity to attack Timken and Vance. He said, “I definitely alienate myself from the Republican Party establishment. Jane Timken, who was the party chairman, can’t stand me…The fact that these squishy RINO Republicans all over the state of Ohio hate me? Badge of honor.” Mandel has called both Vance and Timken squishy establishment RINOs in the past. And to be fair, it doesn’t seem like too many Republicans can stand Timken either. 

CARNIVAL BARKER AND SHAPESHIFTER. In an interview with Steve Bannon, Jane Timken escalated her feud with Josh Mandel, calling him a “carnival barker” and a “shapeshifter.” That means a lot coming from a Kasich 2016 donor and Mike DeWine ally to call someone else a shapeshifter but this primary is a parade of phonies calling each other phonies for being phony. It’s hard to keep track! 

Thanks for reading along – that’s all for the Buckeye Brawl this week. If you have questions, my email is [email protected]. Have a great weekend!