Election 2022

GOP Senate candidate JD Vance has the most convoluted conspiracy theory yet

JD Vance on Tucker Carlson's show
JD Vance on Tucker Carlson's showPhoto: Screenshot

Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance of Ohio is accusing his Democratic opponent, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), of wanting to increase immigration to the U.S. so that he can spend government money on “gender reassignment surgeries” for those immigrants.

“Tim Ryan is sort of the poster board for oligarchy,” Vance said on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show last night. “If you look at his views on green energy, really good for the people who fund his campaign, really bad for the people of Youngstown, Ohio. If you look at his views on, for example, flooding America with illegal aliens and then using American tax dollars to fund gender reassignment surgeries for those aliens, that’s exactly what Tim Ryan has proposed doing.”

“This is just mad libs for bigots,” Media Matters’s Kat Abu noted in sharing the video clip.

Vance was likely referring to an answer Ryan gave in a 2019 ACLU presidential candidate questionnaire, from when he was running to be the Democratic nominee for president.

“As President will you use your executive authority to ensure that transgender and non-binary people who rely on the state for medical care — including those in prison and immigration detention — will have access to comprehensive treatment associated with gender transition, including all necessary surgical care?” the question asked. Ryan said “Yes” but didn’t provide an explanation.

Ryan, of course, is not running for president so his views on executive powers aren’t quite as relevant as they were in 2019. Moreover, the ACLU’s question didn’t say anything about increasing undocumented immigration to the U.S. or keeping people in immigration detention long enough for long-term health care to be relevant.

“Saying he’d provide medical care to transgender people in prison or immigration detention is quite a bit different that what Vance is suggesting,” one Twitter user noted. “Vance makes it sound like he’s planning to recruit transgender people from other countries.”

Others just mocked Vance for the suggestion that this is anything to be worried about.

According to Real Clear Politics, Vance is ahead by 3.3 points in an average of recent polls of Ohio.

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