U.S. Senate Candidate Vows to 'Kill and Confront' MAGA Movement

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

In an email to some friends on Monday, I wrote that Congressman Tim Ryan, a Democrat who is vying for an open Senate seat in Ohio, “is playing it smart. He knows he has Democrats locked up, so he’s going hard after Republicans and Independents. I don’t feel good about this race.”

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I take it all back.

Until this week, Ryan, who is running against Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance, was going hard after Republicans and independents. His ads and campaign literature portray him as a centrist who is willing to buck his party to do the right thing for his constituents. For example, in recent weeks, he’s been decrying Joe Biden’s student-loan payoff stunt (even though he supports “tuition-free college” and “expanding student loan forgiveness”). Nevertheless, just like Biden, Ryan is a hardcore leftist who is good at fooling people into thinking he’s a moderate. And, like Biden, he never saw a left-wing boondoggle or social-justice program he didn’t support. Here’s a snapshot, courtesy of Ballotpedia, of Ryan’s key votes in 2021:

Tim Ryan
(Courtesy of Ballotpedia)

But until this week, Ryan was running a disciplined campaign and had even distanced himself from Biden in order to gain the support of Republican and independent voters. Polling shows the race in a virtual tie, with Vance edging out Ryan in the RealClear Politics average by just 2.3 points, a month out from the start of early voting in the state. Ryan’s internal polling must be much worse, because on Tuesday, he turned a sharp corner and went full Joe Biden, lashing out at Trump supporters on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

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“We have to kill and confront [the MAGA] movement,” Ryan told host Willie Geist, adding that only “normal mainstream Republicans” are worth working with. He said this moments after (laughably) proclaiming that he’s “one of the most bipartisan members of Congress” and insisting, “I want to work across the aisle.”

Calling for the death of a movement that represents roughly half of America doesn’t seem like a good strategy if you’re touting your bipartisan bonafides, yet Ryan went there.

Related: Vulnerable Democrats Already Running Away From Student Debt Fiasco

Trump won nearly every county in Ohio in 2020 and bested Joe Biden in Trumbull County, Ryan’s home district, by 10 points. Ryan represents a union-heavy district in the Rust Belt, which Vance has been going after intensely. Vance has staked out America-First positions on illegal immigration, bad trade deals that hurt American workers, and the opioid and fentanyl crisis that is devastating many parts of Ohio. And on Twitter Tuesday, Vance called out soaring inflation statistics. “This number represents serious human suffering,” he wrote. “The people of Ohio and the country deserve better from their leadership. Time for Tim Ryan to stop raising taxes and sending IRS agents after our people and fix this inflation.”

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Ryan’s anti-MAGA comments show his desperation. He’s shed his bipartisan persona for Bidenesque hysteria, which may have just put a stake through his campaign. Things are looking up for J.D. Vance, who needs to run this clip on every TV and radio station until Election Day.

 

 

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