Democratic Ohio U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Tim Ryan called his Republican opponent JD Vance an “ass kisser” in Monday night’s debate.
“Ohio needs an ass kicker, not an ass kisser,” Ryan said creating the most viral moment of the debate.
Ryan was referencing comments made by Donald Trump at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio in September. At the rally Trump said Vance is “in love” with him and “kissing my ass” for support.
“Trump took J.D. Vance’s dignity from him on the stage in Youngstown,” Ryan said during Monday night’s debate. “Then J.D. Vance got back up on stage and started shaking his hand. I don’t know anybody I went to high school with that would allow somebody to take their dignity like that and then get back up on stage.”
Ryan continued: “We need leaders who have the courage to take on their own party, and I’ve proven that. [Vance] was called an ass kisser by the former president.”
Ryan and Vance are locked in a tighter race than expected in a state that voted for Republicans twice and Trump carried by 8 points in the 2020 election. FiveThirtyEight average of polls has Ryan with a less than 1 percent lead over Vance.