Republican U.S. Senate hopeful J.D. Vance takes his 'No B.S. Tour' to Northeast Ohio

JD Vance
Posted at 5:12 PM, Jan 14, 2022

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — Republican U.S. Senate hopeful J.D. Vance took his “No BS Tour” to Independence Friday, kicking off the second day of a six-day, 13-city tour of the state. At L.A. Pete’s Restaurant, he made his case as to why he should be the one to replace Rob Portman in the Senate next year.

“We got to send somebody to the senate who is not responsive to Democrat or Republican elites, actually serves the people,” Vance told News 5. “I think so many of the problems that we have in this country, whether it's the immigration crisis that benefits corporations who want cheap labor, doesn't benefit law and order in our communities, the manufacturing crisis benefits corporations that like to shift jobs overseas, doesn't benefit middle-class workers here in Ohio. It's about actually going back and fighting against those people for the people of Ohio.”

The "Hillbilly Elegy" author is one of six candidates competing in the Republican Primary in May. It's a list that includes Josh Mandel, Jane Timken, Mike Gibbons, Bernie Moreno and Matt Dolan. Vance said his focus is not on them but on the people in front of him.

"No I think you got to run your own race. I mean it's ultimately about the people, it's about the voters and hopefully what I can do for those voters. I try not to focus on the other candidates,” he said.

That may be, but there's been a focus on him; Vance was on the receiving end last fall of ads ran against him by the political action committee Club for Growth Action for his statements in 2016 against Donald Trump. Vance says the hit was expected.

“We knew that people were going to hit us with money, we knew that when we started getting momentum people were going to come after us with negative ads, that's what happens in politics and if you can't survive it then you shouldn't be in public office in the first place.”

And his message to the Trump supporters he’ll need in May about those critical comments?

"I was wrong,” Vance said. “I think it's pretty simple when the facts change in this country you ought to change your mind, and Trump was, I think, a very good president for the people of Ohio, he was a very good president for the country. You got to be honest with people, at the end of the day I can't hide from the fact that I criticized him six years ago, also not gonna hide from the fact that I think he was a great president and I've been supporting him for the past several years."

As for the former President's recent comments calling out politicians who won't disclose their vaccination status?

"I'm open about it. I got the vaccine, I got coronavirus, was fine, have not gotten boosted and right now I'm not planning to."

For now, Vance said he's focused on the fun part of the race, making his closing argument to voters as they countdown to the May 3 primary.

“We're going to be out there on TV in a big way making sure that I'm getting my message out there to people who maybe can't come to town halls like this so we got four months to go. We're certainly going to be pretty aggressive over the next four months and I think people will see what we're up to hopefully in the next couple of weeks,” he said.