The event was a Republican Senate primary debate put on by Freedom Works. Josh Mandel accused Mike Gibbons of making “millions” off business deals in China. Gibbons disagreed saying he wished that were true. And then Mandel got up and got in Gibbons’ face. Things went downhill from there and a moderator came over like he was the referee at a fight:
Mike Gibbons and Josh Mandel get in each other’s faces at tonight’s GOP #OHSen forum hosted by FreedomWorks.
“You watch what happens,” Mandel says. pic.twitter.com/fQuqfHxXHT
— Heartland Signal (@HeartlandSignal) March 18, 2022
Well, everyone watched what happened and no one liked it. Here’s another angle where you can really hear the booing from the crowd at this display.
— Peter Vicenzi (@PeterVicenzi) March 18, 2022
JD Vance who was also part of the event got up and told Mandel to sit down saying “This is ridiculous.” He went on to criticize Mandel for his references to his own military service.
“It’s not a political football for you to toss around,” Vance said. “Think about what we just saw. … This guy wants to be a U.S. senator, and he’s up here [saying], ‘Hold me back, I got two tours in the Marine Corps.’ What a joke. Answer the question. Stop playing around.”
Gibbons was quick to capitalize on the spat, calling Mandel “unhinged, unfit, and flailing.”
Josh Mandel is unhinged, unfit, and flailing – because he’s losing.
— Mike Gibbons (@MikeGibbonsOH) March 18, 2022
Still no comment from Mandel that I can see but it has only been a couple of hours. Finally, some speculation about why this might be happening:
Mandel, who had been the front runner in Ohio GOP Senate race, is clearly worried about recent polling showing Gibbons ahead and reports that Trump will meet with Gibbons. https://t.co/RRoqg2it1q
— Trip Gabriel (@tripgabriel) March 19, 2022
Anyway, not a great look but it’s noteworthy that everyone else at the event was pretty clear about their disapproval of it. I wonder if that will get mentioned in any of the major media writes up that mention it tomorrow morning?