CLAY: We are joined now by Ohio Senate candidate, best-selling authorJD Vance. JD, you’ve been feuding with Tim Ryan — I saw this story; I couldn’t believe it — over who likes Ohio State football more. Now, I’m a pretty big college football fan. I didn’t anticipate this being a major brouhaha, so to speak. But I think it probably speaks to the desperation that Tim Ryan is feeling that he’s trying to make this an issue. The campaign’s going pretty well, right?
VANCE: Yeah, it’s definitely going well. It’s one of these weird issues where, you know, it reminds me a couple of years ago where like every liberal in Hollywood got really into the NFL because they put “End Racism” in the end zone.
BUCK: He did this weird thing where he obsessed for two weeks about the fact that Trump was holding a rally — which of course I was going to cause it’s in the state of Ohio — during an Ohio State football game. And, by the way, it was Ohio State-Toledo. I think that Ohio State scored like basketball team-like numbers against Toledo. I was not exactly worried.
CLAY: It’s not the biggest game of the year for the Buckeyes, I think it’s fair to say, yes.
VANCE: Exactly. But the hilarious thing, as it turns out he was not watching the game either and so he had his staff live tweeting the game as if it was him, but he was at somebody’s wedding; so, you know, who cares. Like he goes to a wedding. No one would make an issue out of it but he decided to make an issue out of this football game even though he was being hypocritical. It’s sort of a good illustration of his entire keep which is a bit of a cluster.
BUCK: Hey, JD, it’s Buck. We were just talking about the crime issue, and I have seen — when was this just to make sure I’m right — oh, just today — that Columbus, Ohio, for example, has already passed a hundred homicides. It’s a little later, two months later than the record year of homicides they had last year. Ohio statewide and in its major cities, how is it doing when if comes to crime, and what are some of the progressive prosecutors pushing in those cities? You know, we talk about Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Chicago, Illinois. What’s going on in Ohio crime-wise?
VANCE: Well, it’s not good, Buck, so we definitely have a crime problem in Ohio, if you look at some of your biggest cities, you know, we have violent crime rates that rival some Third World countries and, you know, everybody thinks about Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. But there are some cities in Ohio that are doing we poorly, and you’re right to ask about the prosecutors because the things they’re really doing, it’s actually not just the prosecutors but it’s a lot of the very activist local judges. The police officers, I’ve heard them say they bring a guy who carjacked a woman at 8 in the morning and instead of arresting…
Well, they arrest the person but instead of putting that person in jail, the judges will let them out. They will so-called divert them from the traditional criminal justice system and then the cops will arrest the same person the same day committing the same violent crime, and that’s happening all over the state of Ohio. It’s just a straightforward policy choices. If you look at the statistics, you guys, it’s a very consistent story that a substantial share of the violent crime is committed by a handful of people. So this decision just to let violent criminals maraud around our streets is very, very directly causing this. And if we just accept that some people, you know what? They need to spend some time in prison, we could deal with a lot of this problem.
CLAY: JD, when you look at and talk to people on the streets — you’ve been all over Ohio — Buck and I have been saying it’s inflation/the economy, it’s the border, and it’s crime. Does that overwhelmingly reflect what you are hearing from your constituents in Ohio about their biggest concerns?
VANCE: It is. I mean, those are definitely the top three issues, and, you know, you hear about them in different ways, but definitely those are things that dominate people’s minds. I will say that a lot of people, you know, I might add to that, they’re just sick being told what they’re allowed to say and what they’re allowed to think. A lot of people in Ohio, obviously — I mean, not just Ohio, but all across the country — headed back to school the last couple of weeks.
And so I think the fact that too many schools are in the game of indoctrinating kids instead of educating kids is coming back to the forefront of parents’ minds. They’re very worried about the quality of the education their kids are getting. There have been a couple of little rumors about, you know, covid policy getting a little crazy, some schools remasking and so forth. So I think the school issue remains a big issue. And I think, you know, a lot of people forgot about it because we just had this very long political summer. But as people get back to the cadence of normal life, I suspect the school issue is gonna be top of mind come November as well.
BUCK: Speaking to JD Vance. He is running for Senate in Ohio. JD, what would be your top priorities? I mean, obviously with Joe Biden still in office getting any laws passed would be very difficult, but we’re gonna be in a presidential election cycle as soon as the midterm cycle ends, you know, finishes up. So the policies that are put forward by the GOP will be essentially on the ballot in 2024. What do you think is critical to get done? I mean, what are some of the things legislatively that you would want to spearhead?
VANCE: Well, look, I think we could close the border. You know, Biden knows this is politically unpopular. I think that he’d probably would like an exit ramp, especially as he heads into a presidential election year — of course, if they let him run in the first place. But I think, you know, we could actually say, “Look. You’re not gonna get a dollar of your priorities if you don’t actually enforce the border, build the border wall, and allow the Border Patrol agents to do what they do best which is to keep us safe.”
I also think that to your point about him vetoing laws, you know, we should actually propose legislation and let him veto the stuff, right? Do some things that are politically popular, that are good for the country that are consistent with our values and force Joe Biden to say “no” to it. So that when, you know, we run in ’24 — whether it’s Trump or DeSantis or whoever else — we actually have a set of priorities; it’s not just Biden is a bad president. You know, 70% of the country agrees with that, but here are a series of Republican proposals where if we take the country in a different direction this will affirmatively become law and make your life better.
CLAY: A big part of that, obviously, JD is that Tim Ryan has tried to claim that he is a moderate and independent voice while at the same time supporting virtually everything that Joe Biden advocates for. What about that appeal? Is that having success in convincing people that he is a moderate, or are most people seeing through it and recognizing that, essentially, he’s a rubber stamp for everything that Joe Biden wanted to get done?
VANCE: I think most people see through it and sort of our job over the next 50 days is to make sure everybody sees through it because you’re exactly right: It’s an incredible the contrast between the D.C. liberal, Tim Ryan — who votes for open borders, who votes to let violent criminals out of prison, who votes to crush the Ohio energy economy which is one of the things driving inflation — and then the totally reasonable guy that comes on these TV commercials and runs away from every single position where he’s taken a vote even a couple of years ago.
I mean, even the student debt issue, right? Not a very popular thing. I think a deeply unfair thing that Joe Biden did and probably illegally. Tim Ryan voted for a more generous version of student let relief and then comes around and says, “Well, I don’t actually like what Joe Biden is doing.” Well, the reason why you say you don’t like it is because you know it’s not gonna get you elected to the Senate. But look, the guy’s record is the guy’s record, and it’s impossible for him to run away from it. We’ve started to hammer him on the airwaves to let people know that this fake moderate they see in these TV commercials is not the real D.C. Tim Ryan.
We’re gonna keep on doing that, and I think it’s already had a big effect. I think it will continue to have a big effect through the election. So I feel good about our race. I think, you know, those of your listeners who are in Ohio, just let your friends know, let your family know: This guy’s not a moderate; he’s not a conservative. He is a very radical rubber stamp for Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi. And of course if people have resources, they can go to JDVance.com, donate to the campaign and help us fund some of these advertisements that get that message out.
BUCK: JD, we’ve got a lot of people listening across Ohio including in our affiliate WHLO AM in the Cleveland-Akron area, and so they can go to your site as you said. I’m just wondering, are you getting the same kind of dodging-the-question or dodging-the-debate treatment with Ryan that we’ve seen start to happen? It’s just becoming obviously, right, in other races, Cortez Masto in Nevada is not really willing to face the press or square off against Adam Laxalt. Clearly Fetterman, to your east there, Fetterman and Oz, Fetterman’s trying to avoid that. So are we saying the same thing with Tim Ryan? You said that he’s misrepresenting himself, but is he also trying to pull a hide-in-the-basement and hope the press carries the water for him routine? What’s going on?
VANCE: Well, you know, Fetterman is, of course, the most well spoken of the Democrats; so Oz has to be careful there. But, you know, in our race in Ohio, we really want to debate, and we think that where we are gonna have debates. Now, here’s the deal. We’ve accepted a couple debates and, you know, a couple media organizations said, “We’d like to host these debates.” Our campaign went out immediately and said, “Okay, those are the two debates that we’ll do.” Now, the only debate that Tim Ryan has said he wants to do is one put on by the Ohio Debate Commission.
And that may sound like a nonpartisan organization but as we found out a couple of days ago, the Ohio Debate Commission, the leader, is a literal Tim Ryan donor. Like, she’s written checks to Tim Ryan; she was like on the board of Planned Parenthood. It’s basically an activist organization. And so the debate we’re having here in Ohio is, “Yes, we’ll do the debate; but we’re not doing it with a partisan Democrat organization. We’ll do it with nonpartisan media organizations.” And I think, you know, our message to Tim Ryan is been look. You know, I guarantee you he’s saying seeing the same thing in his internal numbers that we’re seeing in ours. He needs the debates more than we do and so I hope he’ll accept.
BUCK: Clay, we’ve got people in WKRC in Cincinnati, WTAM in Cleveland, WHLO in Akron, WTVN in Columbus, Toledo, Ohio, WSPD. I mean, they can make a big difference here. I think everyone needs to understand, they can make the difference in this race.
CLAY: No, in many of those markets we’re number one in the entire market now; so, JD, I hope they’re listening and hope they’re enjoying this. One of the things that stood out — and we went after Tim Ryan for this — was he essentially said he supports abortion all the way through nine months. And obviously many different states are coming to many different laws as it pertains to that. Are you finding that most Ohioans, JD, find Tim Ryan’s position of abortion all the way through nine months is a radical proposition?
VANCE: Yeah, absolutely. And look. I’m pro-life, and I recognize, you know, different people are gonna draw the lane maybe differently from what I would like to do. But pretty much all of us can agree that you should not have taxpayer-funded, elective abortion at 40 weeks, right? You can’t use abortion as birth control, especially that late in pregnancy. And Tim Ryan has repeatedly voted for legislation that not only would allow it nationwide — would invalidate any restriction on abortion nationwide — but would also force Ohio taxpayers to foot the bill.
It’s really a testament to how crazy the Democrats have gotten on this issue. If you look across this world, Scandinavia, Western Europe, these are typical considered pretty far-left societies. You know, they typically ban abortion after 12 to 15 weeks. The only countries that allow nonstop abortion on demand up to the moment of birth are North Korea and China. I don’t want to join that club. I guess we’re already in that club, but I don’t want to be part of that club anymore.
And again, I think it just shows Tim Ryan’s really out of step here. And people ask, “Well, why does he take such radical positions?” And the answer is actually really simple: Because of the activists that fund. His campaign, the reason why he has all these TV commercials saying that he’s a moderate is because these activists put a lot of money into his races, and he knows if he crosses these people, he’s gonna have to run on his own record and he’s gonna lose.
CLAY: JD Vance, who’s gonna win, be the next senator from Ohio. You can give him your support. Give us that website one more time, JD.
VANCE: Yeah, that’s JDVance.com. Appreciate everything, appreciate what you guys are doing and everybody in Ohio, let’s get out and vote on November 8th.
BUCK: Thanks, JD. And, Clay, we’re thinking he’s gonna win. He’s gotta win by a lot, though, folks. Gotta send a message. Can’t be close. Get out there. Help him.
CLAY: Amen. And hopefully the Buckeyes will continue to win so Tim Ryan will have something to talk about.