J.D. Vance’s ‘electorally stupid’ Ukraine comment has doomed his Senate campaign: conservative
When J.D. Vance appeared on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast on Saturday, February 19, he infamously said, “I've got to be honest with you, I don't really care what happens to Ukraine one way or another” — a comment that the “Hillbilly Elegy” author, who is seeking the nomination in Ohio’s 2022 GOP U.S. Senate primary — has been unable to live down. Conservative journalist Jim Swift, in an article published by The Bulwark on March 18, argues that Vance wrote his own campaign’s obituary when he made that comment.
In that primary, Vance and former Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel have been engaged in a bitter, ugly GOP primary battle to show who is the most MAGA — and when Vance made the Ukraine comment, that was his boneheaded way of trying to convince Republican voters in the Buckeye State that unlike President Joe Biden, he puts America first. But six days after Vance’s “War Room” appearance, Russian troops, on orders from President Vladimir Putin, invaded Ukraine. Thousands of people have been killed since then, and it’s painfully obvious that Biden was right to be worried about what Putin would do in Ukraine.
Democrats have used Vance’s Ukraine comment to pound him unmercifully, slamming the “Hillbilly Elegy” author as an idiot — a view that Never Trump conservative Swift obviously shares.
The Ukraine stuff just gets more unhinged by the hour. You hate America unless you want to send our best to die in a war that has nothing to do with this country? Give me a break.— J.D. Vance (@J.D. Vance) 1643215987
What's happening in Ukraine doesn't threaten our national security, but it does distract our leaders from the things that do actually threaten it, like the wide open southern border & all the fentanyl coming across killing American kids.\n\nFull statement below:pic.twitter.com/RAdytYTiaj— J.D. Vance (@J.D. Vance) 1645566286
The foreign policy establishment gets rich when American children die for dumb ideas; they make nothing when our leaders solve real problems. This is why we focus so much on Ukraine and so little on our own border.https://twitter.com/TPostMillennial/status/1496668575377117184\u00a0\u2026— J.D. Vance (@J.D. Vance) 1645670499
In a mocking tone, Swift writes that it was obvious that Vance had been “canceled” when his invitation to speak at a Republican event in Minnesota on April 1 was suddenly withdrawn.
“It seems J.D. Vance’s ‘No BS Tour’ is skipping a stop in Minnesota,” Swift explains. “The Ohio Senate hopeful, currently polling in third place, was slated to speak at the Minnesota GOP’s annual Lincoln-Reagan dinner fundraising event. Then, without explanation, he was pulled. Scheduled on April Fool’s Day with no apparent sense of irony, the invite went out in late February — and almost immediately, Minnesota Republicans pushed back against Vance’s selection.”
In a March 1 tweet, Republican Brian McClung, who was a spokesman for former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, made it clear that he wouldn’t support an event where “Putin apologist” Vance was speaking:
Got my invite to @mngop Lincoln Reagan Dinner feat. Putin apologist @JDVance1. The guy who said \u201cI gotta be honest I don\u2019t really care what happens to Ukraine one way or another.\u201d Seems appropriate the dinner is on April Fools Day. Cancel it & raise $ for Ukraine instead. pic.twitter.com/nBEqVJWFjD— Brian McClung (@Brian McClung) 1646163936
Swift notes, “Michael Brodkorb, former deputy chair of the Minnesota Republican Party, observed that ‘numerous Republican operatives’ were ‘fuming’ about the selection of Vance as the keynote speaker, highlighting Vance’s ill-informed and callous — not to mention electorally stupid — comments about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a primary reason for their ire. Though maybe the objection is really about Vance being Vance.”
Vance has been replaced by the Conservative Political Action Committee’s Matt Schlapp at the April 1 event in Minnesota:
We're excited to announce @mschlapp, chairman of @CPAC as the speaker for our 2022 Lincoln-Reagan Dinner in Bloomington on Friday April 1! You won't want to miss this exciting event, register online here: https://2022mngoplr.voicehive.com/v2/page/WelcomePage\u00a0\u2026pic.twitter.com/a9khXrNTzG— Republican Party of Minnesota (@Republican Party of Minnesota) 1647442870
“As for Matt Schlapp,” Swift writes, “he invited former Democratic congresswoman and celebrity Putin sympathizer Tulsi Gabbard to speak at the Ronald Reagan Dinner at CPAC in Florida last month. And yet, it’s J.D. Vance who gets tossed over the side. It hardly seems fair. But then, conservative cancel culture never is.”
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