I was unsure what to expect from the debate between Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan, and J.D. Vance is running for the vacant Ohio Senate seat. Ryan has been in Congress almost 20 years and has had decades of debates, so I was curious if Vance could keep up. It was not a concern. Vance was well-prepared for the debate. Ryan, however, attacked Ryan with blow after blow, portraying Ryan as an out-of touch liberal who follows the radical left and takes advantage of the Rust Belt to his benefit. Ryan was stiff, angry, and focused on personal attacks. This is always a sign that Ryan believes he’s losing.
Fox 8 hosted the debate in Cleveland. It included questions on hot-button topics such as abortion, immigration and border security. Vance was asked by the moderators about his opponent’s claim that he was a Silicon Valley “vulture capitalist” and is not in touch with ordinary Ohioans.
Vance responded, “I was born in Ohio and raised there. The reason I left the state at 18 was to enlist with the United States Marine Corps.”” “”That was the first time that I left Ohio. I went to Ohio State University. I set up a business here and raised my children here.”” Vance then turned the question to Ryan.
Ryan attacked Vance’s donors, accusing him, among other things, of hiring foreign workers. I am just telling you that I’m from Silicon Valley. You don’t know what’s happening in Ohio… Now, you want to jump into Ohio and try to purchase a Senate seat. Because everyone can see it, it’s not going to work.
Ryan attempted to portray Vance as a dangerous extremist on the abortion question. He accused him of advocating “state-mandated pregnancy” even for ten year-old rape victims.
Vance stated, “I mean, look at me, I have a nine year-old baby girl at my home.” “I can’t imagine what that must be like for her and her family. God forbid that something like that should happen. “I’ve repeatedly stated that I believe that the girl should have the right to an abortion if she and the family choose.” Ryan again asked the question. He responded with a fervent response. “Why was a 10-year old girl raped in my community, right here in my state?” This is the thing: Congressman Ryan and the media will continue to talk about it. They don’t mention that the poor girl was raped and abused by an illegal alien. This is someone that shouldn’t have been allowed to be in this state. You voted against border wall funding so many times, and for amnesty so many times. You would not have allowed her to be raped if you had done your job.”
Vance was asked if he would support the bill of retiring Republican Senator. Rob Portman would have Ohio’s same-sex marriage legalized. Vance correctly pointed out that the bill’s purpose was not to legalize same-sex marriage. He said, “”I have spoken out against the bill and I don’t believe it‚ about gay marriage.” “It’s about religious persecution, not same-sex marriage.
“Look, gay marriage in this country is the law. That’s the law in this country. I don’t want to change it. If you take a look at the bill in question, it won’t just codify an existing law. It would also make it much easier for the government and many private parties to persecute religious organizations if they don’t follow the dictates of federal government.
“I am a Christian devout and believe it is important to ensure religious freedom in this country. We all remember ten years ago, when the Obama administration – I’m sure supported Tim Ryan – pursued a group Catholic nuns for their desire to run their organization in accordance with their religious beliefs. He warned that this legislation could lead to a flood of lawsuits against churches, religious organizations, mosques, synagogues or other religious institutions.
Ryan praised Vance’s participation in the Catholic Church, rather than questioning him on the substance of Vance’s answer. Ryan went through a list of left-wing talking points that were mostly inaccurate or untrue. “This is what i’m trying to tell Ohioans, J.D. He said Vance is extremist on these issues. “No exceptions to rape and incest.” – Vance had actually just stated that he supports some exceptions. He says that he is against same-sex marriage. He is following the lead of the most extreme men who want to ban books, and all other things. J.D., those are the men you bring to the state to run for you.” He said that Republicans were poised to make same-sex marriage illegal as well as birth control illegal. Ryan mocked Vance because he said that the bill was not about same-sex marital.
Vance replied, “One, I answered question about same-sex marriage, and identified, very precisely, a couple problems with the legislation.” “Tim didn’t address that. It didn’t exist. This is the problem with Tim Ryan. He has spent 20 years in Washington, D.C. and doesn’t really care about details of public policy. He didn’t read the bill he voted on. Instead, he reads “canned words” that his consultants gave him. You could have responded to my argument, but instead you chose to pretend that I hold views that you don’t, so you can’t. Look, it’s insulting. Voters deserve someone who respects their opinions and is honest with them about the issues. Tim is not doing that tonight.
The debate lasted for an hour and both candidates were able to speak. However, the moderators made sure that they did not allow them to filibuster. Vance, a Yale Law School graduate, was confident and articulate while showing his intelligence and public policy skills. Ryan was in defense of Vance throughout the debate. He used personal attacks and lied about Vance’s positions repeatedly. Ryan fidgeted, sighed deeply (al Gore-style), and appeared angry throughout the debate. Vance was as cool as a cucumber, and didn’t seem to be bothered by any of the attacks. He had a coherent, credible answer for each challenge.
The race is in a virtual tie at the moment. Vance leads by 1.4 points according to RealClearPolitics. But, as we all know, polling has been inconsistent over the past few years so it’s anybody’s race at this stage. Vance’s strong performance Monday night should help him climb the polls in just a few more weeks before the midterm elections.
Donald Trump Jr. was quick and enthusiastic to praise Vance
On Oct. 17, Ryan’s hometown of Youngstown will host a second debate. It will be interesting for Ryan to change his strategy against Vance.