An Attempted Tim Ryan Dunk on JD Vance Goes Terribly Wrong

AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File

College football is a Really Big Deal in Ohio, so much so that when it comes time for politicking and campaigning, mentions of the Ohio State Buckeyes and any stated loyalty a candidate has for them have been staples in campaign playbooks going back decades, much like favorable mentions (and samplings) of barbecue, sweet tea, and Carolina Tarheels basketball games are among politicos here in North Carolina.


And in close, contentious races, especially those that could end up deciding who controls the U.S. Senate, these types of side battles can take on lives of their own with the potential of embarrassing the candidate who is on the receiving end of what can either be a good-natured ribbing or a pointed criticism of their supposed sports allegiances and priorities.

Ohio Republican Senate nominee J.D. Vance found himself in just such a spot over the weekend after he held a campaign rally on Saturday night in Youngstown that featured former President Donald Trump stumping for him.

As the Vance/Trump festivities were taking place, Ohio State was making easy work of the Toledo Rockets at Ohio Stadium, where the final score was 77-21.

During the game, Ryan’s handlers were apparently given the keys to his Twitter account, where a couple of tweets taking shots at Vance for holding the rally on the night of a Buckeyes game were posted, as though it was sacrilegious to be doing anything else outside of being at or watching the game. This was part of a reported two-week, six-figure ad campaign dunking Vance for not attending the game and holding the rally instead:


Based off of what was tweeted, one would think that maybe Ryan was at the game. I mean surely such criticisms wouldn’t be leveled otherwise considering how easy it is most of the time for reporters to get a hold of your traveling schedule to find out where you are, right?

As it turns out – and as you might have already guessed – the Daily Mail discovered that Ryan himself, who has been avoiding Joe Biden for some reason, was also not at the game that night, and reported it:

Ryan’s campaign immediately seized on the timing, casting Vance as an outsider who purposely scheduled the rally for the same time as Ohio State University and the University of Toledo, both Ohio schools, faced off on the football field.

But the House Democrat was himself attending a wedding instead of watching the big game.

A person present at the event told that Ryan was the officiant at the nuptials, where the bride was one of Ryan’s relatives.

Vance’s campaign called Ryan a ‘shameless fraud’ in a statement to

Ryan likely did not have a say in the wedding date. But he would have had more control over his campaign’s ad blitz targeting Vance for missing the football game going on the same night.


So apparently the idea was to make it appear as though Ryan was at the game when in fact he was not. Apparently Ryan’s handlers have been taking cues from Joe Biden’s handlers on how to try (and fail) to make their boss look like he was doing something he wasn’t.

To his credit, Vance responded accordingly to one of the attacks:

Heh. We shall see…

Flashback: We’ve Found the Democrat Who Does ‘Grillin’ out’ Campaign Videos Worse Than Terry McAuliffe


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