Washington, DC – Last night’s second Ohio Senate debate between GOP nominee J.D. Vance and Democratic nominee Tim Ryan featured a heated exchange over the “replacement theory,” a dangerous conspiracy once limited to the white nationalist fringes that has been mainstreamed throughout this election cycle by GOP candidates, like J.D. Vance. Despite the disavowal by Vance on the debate stage, he has peddled “replacement” ideas alongside the related immigrant “invasion” falsehood.
First the relevant exchange and then the receipts on J.D. Vance’s record and rhetoric as well as reminders about the dangers of GOP candidates mainstreaming these ideas.
As NBC News recapped in a story, “Tim Ryan and J.D. Vance attack each other over ‘great replacement’ theory in final Ohio Senate debate,”
“The already hostile Senate race in Ohio turned even nastier Monday as Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan and Republican J.D. Vance clashed over racist rhetoric and lobbed personal insults. At their final debate before the Nov. 8 election, tensions ran highest toward the end of their hour onstage, when one of the moderators asked the candidates about the ‘great replacement’ theory.
The conspiracy theory, which has found a home on the far-right fringes, broadly states that a Jewish-led cabal of liberals is trying to take power by replacing white voters with nonwhites by any means necessary, including immigration and interracial marriage. The suspect in the deadly supermarket shooting in Buffalo, New York, in May, who is accused of targeting Black people, allegedly embraced the theory. Vance has asserted during his campaign that Democrats are pushing liberal immigration policies to ‘replace’ voters and win elections, triggering accusations that he supports the theory, as well.
‘This great replacement theory was the motivator for the shooting in Buffalo, where that shooter had all these great replacement theory writings that J.D. Vance agrees with,’ Ryan said.
Vance, who has three children with his Indian American wife, was visibly angry and fired back at Ryan.”
Following the debate, the Ryan campaign released a video highlighting instances of J.D. Vance espousing “replacement” rhetoric and ideas, despite the GOP candidate’s disavowal on the debate stage. As the Ryan campaign tweeted, “Ohio’s next senator needs to be more focused on delivering for working people than peddling dangerous lies.”
America’s Voice’s ongoing GOP ad tracking project has detailed a series of Vance comments and advertisements that embrace the dangerous lie: see here, here, here, here, here and here for six examples.
According to Zachary Mueller, Political Director for America’s Voice:
“Like too many other Republican candidates across the nation, J.D. Vance thought it is perfectly appropriate to adopt the deadly language of white nationalists for his own political expediency. Now, when confronted directly in the final weeks of the midterm, Vance tried to distance himself slightly from these deadly lies, but he owns all of his campaign rhetoric.
Unfortunately, the white nationalist conspiracies and nativism peddled by J.D. Vance is right at home in today’s Republican Party. From Kari Lake and Blake Masters in Arizona to Ron Johnson in Wisconsin to Marjorie Taylor Greene in Georgia to Elise Stefanik in New York, the GOP’s embrace of these dangerous falsehoods and conspiracies has spread throughout the country.
And as the murders in Buffalo, Pittsburgh, El Paso, the recent migrant shootings in West Texas and another plot to kill migrants uncovered in Missouri remind us of the deadly downstream consequences of embracing and mainstreaming these lies.”