Two Republican candidates for U.S. Senate in Ohio had a heated exchange during a live-streamed primary debate on Friday, with both saying in each other’s faces until a moderator drew them apart.
The event between candidates Josh Mandel as well as Mike Gibbons began with Mandel saying Gibbons had “made millions” from business transactions with Chinese firms.
Gibbons then claimed Mandel has never operated in the private sector, causing Mandel to step right into Gibbon’s face during the primary online forum held by FreedomWorks near Columbus.
“You don’t know squat,” Gibbons said.
“Two tours in Iraq, don’t tell me I haven’t worked!” Mandel replied.
A mediator ultimately actions in to draw both apart..
Mike Gibbons and Josh Mandel get in each other’s faces at tonight’s GOP #OHSen forum hosted by FreedomWorks.
“You watch what happens,” Mandel says. pic.twitter.com/fQuqfHxXHT
— Heartland Signal (@HeartlandSignal) March 18, 2022
After the dispute, a speaker for Gibbons claimed Mandel “is unhinged, unfit and flailing — because he’s losing.”
“He is only a professional at one thing: running for office,” said spokeswoman Samantha Cotten. “He is hellbent on lying because he is failing. He doesn’t have the temperament, experience, or fortitude to be a U.S. senator and Ohio voters got a firsthand look at just how unprepared Josh Mandel is to be a leader and that will be reflected at the ballot on May 3.”
Mandel’s campaign manager said Gibbons “got upset tonight that he was called out for his investments in Chinese oil.”
“He claims not to remember the investment, but it’s part of a pattern of Gibbons’ entire career making money by taking American companies and selling them to foreign interests,” campaign manager Scott Guthrie said. “While Ohioans are struggling to make ends meet in Joe Biden’s America, Mike Gibbons spent his entire career profiting by shipping jobs overseas and investing in places like China and Russia.”
A Fox News poll earlier this month located Gibbons, an investment banker from the Cleveland area, and Mandel, a former state treasurer, are leading among 7 prospects on the ballot in the Republican primary. Gibbons had the support of 22 percent of voters, while Mandel had the support of 20 percent of voters, the poll located.
Other Republican candidates in the race to replace retiring Senator Rob Portman consist of Ohio state Senator Matt Dolan, previous state GOP chair Jane Timken and endeavor capitalist J.D. Vance. The primary is presently set for May 3, however, might be rescheduled due to court difficulties with the state’s redistricting strategies.
The Ohio Democratic Party released a statement calling the Republican us senate primary race a “cavalcade of clowns” after Friday night’s discussion.
“We encourage every voter to watch this forum and see for themselves why these Republicans do not deserve to be in the United States Senate,” spokesperson Michael Beyer said.
H/T National Review