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In a new campaign ad, Ohio Senate candidate Mike Gibbons accuses main opponent and former state treasurer Josh Mandel of being soft on China, returning to the issue that sparked an explosive feud between the two .
“He’s been exposed. As Ohio Treasurer, Josh Mandel lent your money to Chinese business interests. And Mandel opposed a bill holding China accountable,” the ad reads. The Gibbons campaign plans to spend about $1 million on the 30-second spot as part of a larger $10 million ad buy.
The Gibbons ad cites two instances in which Mandel was allegedly weak on China.
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First, while Mandel oversaw the Ohio State Treasury Asset Reserve Fund while he was its treasurer, he held stock in several large companies with Chinese “business interests,” according to the report. Gibbons campaign. This included $385,000 in shares of Toyota Motor Credit Corporation, a subsidiary of Japan’s Toyota Motor Corporation, which was expanding significantly in China at the time.
The fund also held assets in JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, MetLife and Apple, according to the Gibbons campaign.
These companies include companies in which many Americans have assets or with which they interact on a regular basis. But the Gibbons campaign notes that they all have various business ambitions or entanglements in China.
Second, the Gibbons ad highlights Mandel’s comments when he ran for the Senate in 2012, in which he opposed a bill to impose tariffs if China manipulated its currency. Mandel said he preferred diplomacy, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
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“Mike Gibbons has spent his entire career thinking about one thing: how to make millions for himself,” Mandel spokeswoman Jillian Anderson said. “Now, while trying to buy a US Senate seat, Mike Gibbons is lying about Josh Mandel because he wants to hide his own record of sending American businesses and jobs to China and the United States. Mexico,” she said. “Whenever Mike Gibbons is confronted with these facts, he says he was not involved in the sale of an American company to Shanghai Shenda or the investment in Chinese Petrol, but he uses these profits to finance his campaign. Ohioans don’t want a Senate seat bought with Chinese Communist Party money, they want a real fighter in Josh Mandel who will go to Washington and put America first.”
By Jillian Anderson
The new ad comes more than two weeks after the row began during a Fox 8 News debate in Cleveland, with Mandel accusing Gibbons of “making millions” on shares of a Chinese company. Gibbons responded with disdain, accusing Mandel of not understanding how investments work.
“You’ve never been in the private sector in your whole life. You don’t know the squat,” Gibbons charged.
“Two tours of Iraq,” Mandel shouted after getting up from his seat and walking towards Gibbons. “Don’t tell me I haven’t worked!
Mandel then got into Gibbons’ face as the two continued to argue, before they were eventually separated by moderators.
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The fallout from the fracas turned into a debate the following Monday and even after that. Mandel and his allies, including former Trump national security adviser Mike Flynn, have accused Gibbons of disrespecting the military. Gibbons and even other GOP primary candidates have criticized Mandel for his behavior on the debate stage.
Now, with his new ad, Gibbons goes back to where the drama originated and reverses the accusation, saying Mandel was weak on China when he knows how to take on the country.
“Politician Josh Mandel is weak on China. But Mike Gibbons is tough on Trump. Like many entrepreneurs, Gibbons had to negotiate with dozens of Chinese businessmen. is being attacked at China in the boardroom. He’ll be doing it from Washington,” the ad reads. .
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The crowded Ohio GOP field will square off at the polls in less than a month when voters head to the polls on May 3. The winner of the primary will likely face Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, in the general election.