“Phony,” “Total Fraud,” And “Insanely Stupid”: Here’s How Republicans Are Talking About Their #OHSEN Candidates

September 17, 2021

Happy Friday and welcome to the inaugural edition of “Buckeye Brawl,” a weekly newsletter from the Ohio Democratic Party highlighting the nasty, chaotic, and expensive Republican primary for Senate. The 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: 

VANCE UNMASKED. Josh Mandel unmasked J.D. Vance’s past by attacking his old tweets calling for “mak[ing] everyone wear masks.” Mandel tweeted, “JD Vance was for mask mandates before he was against them. The only thing that changed in between was that he decided to run for office.” He also called Vance a “phony RINO” for flip-flopping on masks to further his political career. 

COVID FOR EVERYBODY? In an interview with Spectrum News, Bernie Moreno took a swipe at Mandel, Vance, and Timken, saying, “There are people in my race, and you know who they are, and they get a lot of attention, that want it to be about carelessness let’s spread this virus it’s great, COVID for everybody. Obviously, that’s insanely stupid.”  

VANCE’S SHAM OPIOID NON-PROFIT. Reacting to a Business Insider investigation that Vance founded a sham non-profit to boost his political career, Mike Gibbons’ Senior Advisor Michael Biundo tweeted that Vance is “is about as authentic as a $3.00 bill.” Mandel also attacked Vance on his sham non-profit, saying, “Step 1: Abandon hometown Step 2: Profit off of crapping on hometown and calling people from there racists Step 3: Return from silicon valley to start nonprofit to ‘save’ hometown from opioids Step 4: Take the money from the nonprofit and instead use it for political campaign.”

CELEBRITIES AND TWITTER WARS. Jane Timken side-swiped her keyboard warrior rivals Josh Mandel and J.D. Vance at a campaign event, saying, “I’m not running on celebrity or social media or Twitter wars. This is about the fundamentals and doing what’s right for the country.”    

CHEAP TALK. Mandel retweeted Matthew Tyrmand, who accused Vance of “palling around with the Democratic establishment for years,” referring to Vance traveling around on a bus tour with President Biden’s Chief of Staff Ron Klain to promote his book, Hillbilly Elegy. Tyrmand’s tweet goes on to attack Vance, saying, “Taking their money, bashing Trump voters as racist bigots alongside them, wine & cheese in Aspen, the works. Always watch what people do NOT what they say. Talk is cheap & he has proved that if nothing else.”

THE SILICON VALLEY/HOLLYWOOD CANDIDATE. Mandel bashed Vance’s Big Tech and Hollywood connections in an interview with Ben Shapiro, saying, “I think if the election were held today in Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Wall Street or DC, I think JD Vance would run away with it. But if the election was held today in Ohio, he’d get destroyed, because Ohioans are not buying what he’s selling…They see him as a total phony and a total fraud.”   

NOBODY LOOKING OUT FOR “NORMAL PEOPLE.” When asked why he decided to run for Senate, Vance took a veiled swing at the entire Republican field, saying that he was looking out for “normal people” and “didn’t see anybody else in this race who I thought was standing up for people in the way I thought I could.” With the entire field of GOP candidates made up of out-of-touch millionaires (Vance included), it’s true that none of these politicians are looking out for working Ohioans.

WHO’S THE TRUMPIEST OF THEM ALL? Mandel tweeted that it was an “eternal truth” that “J.D. Vance is a Never Trumper.” In an interview with Ben Shapiro, Mandel attacked Timken’s past defense of Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, saying, “One of the other people running against me, Jane Timken. She defended the impeachment against Donald Trump. She called it rational. She was asked how she would go down and she said she didn’t know.” Mike Gibbons Senior Advisor Michael Biundo took a swipe at J.D. Vance, quipping in response to a J.D. Vance tweet about what got him interested in politics, “It wasn’t your hatred of Donald Trump? Hmm.”

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!