“Pro-China RINOs,” “Corrupt Political Insider” And “Clowns”: How Republican #OHSEN Candidates Spent The Week Attacking Each Other

March 25, 2022

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.

Look, when we started “Buckeye Brawl,” we did not anticipate that the GOP Senate candidates would nearly get into an actual physical brawl – but that’s just how messy the Ohio GOP Senate primary has become.

“The Republican race for the U.S. Senate seat in Ohio got ugly in a hurry.” –The Vindicator’s David Skolnick, 3/25/22 

“‘Physically aggressive.’ ‘Unhinged.’ ‘Clowns.’ Those were some of the words used to describe an Ohio Senate debate that got up close and personal on Friday.” –Politico, 3/21/22

“Three longtime GOP operatives working on this Ohio race each independently described the debate footage as a ‘shitshow,’” –Daily Beast, 3/24/22

We know you’ve seen the major fights from the forum Friday and debate Monday, but here’s what you may have missed:

PRO-CHINA RINOs. Let’s start by addressing the RINO in the room: Mike Gibbons’ and Josh Mandel’s viral standoff after Mandel attacked Gibbons for his investments in Chinese petro. Mandel said, “Down one path goes these squishy RINO (Republican in name only) Republicans, many of whom have been pro-China over the years,” and attacked Gibbons for having made millions off his investments in China. It was all downhill from there, with Gibbons accusing Mandel of also investing in Chinese companies, telling Bob Frantz on Monday, “And I can tell you this, we’ve since I looked at it, and you know, Josh was an investor and made thousands of dollars, I might add, in a Chinese censorship app company. I mean, so what he’s accusing me of, he did personally…” Thousands of dollars are pocket change to a millionaire like Mike Gibbons, who has pledged to light $10 million of his own money on fire to be competitive in this primary. Now that he’s in the spotlight, more voters are learning about his pro-China past and they aren’t liking what they see!

CORRUPT POLITICAL INSIDER. Mike Gibbons and Matt Dolan have gone after one of Jane Timken’s signature arguments for her flailing candidacy. At the debate Monday,  Dolan went after Timken, saying, (at the 49-minute mark) “You keep saying you’re fighting in the trenches. Donald Trump won in 2016 by the exact same percentage you keep claiming victory for in 2020 but under your watch, Republicans lost three Supreme Court races and we are feeling the effects of that right now in Ohio. So I’m not sure what you actually did accomplish…” That’s got to sting. Gibbons piled on, slamming Timken’s failed leadership in a press release, saying, “As ORP chair, Jane had a consistent record of taking BIG losses in major Ohio races…The redistricting nightmare we’re currently facing is a result of Jane’s failed leadership. What a record of winning!” Gibbons’ camp went on to call Timken a “corrupt political insider” and advised her to “take a break from her country club tour and talk to working Ohioans.”

CLOWNS. Timken has tried out a new campaign theme, (since the “Timken Time” and “workhorse, not a showhorse” reboots worked out so well) now trying to claim the moral high ground after airing a TV ad making a dick joke, accusing her male opponents of “overcompensating” for their inadequacies. Jane Timken is *very offended* by the Gibbons-Mandel spat and chastised them for acting like children. J.D. Vance also chimed in, after discovering the part of his brain that allows him to be embarrassed for other people’s antics but never his own, calling Mandel and Gibbons “clowns” for their behavior and saying their escapades made the whole party look bad.

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!