U.S. Senate hopeful and Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance slammed his opponent Republican Mike Gibbons over prior remarks made on abortion, as Gibbons once described his position not as pro-life but “pro-people.”
“I think one of the most important issues for the conservative movement is the right to life, right? … If you’re not willing to stand on that issue, I think it indicates your character as weak, and you don’t have the fortitude to actually serve the interest of our voters,” Ohio Senate hopeful Vance said, reminding the crowd that he is “proud to be 100 percent pro-life.”
“I’m proud of the fact that I’ve had the left attack me for a long time for having the courage of my convictions. And you know what? When Mike Gibbons, they asked him whether he was pro-life, he said no, I wouldn’t call myself pro-life. I think that ultimately it should go to the woman’s choice. Ok? That is the language of pro-abortion. He said he’s not pro-life, he’s pro-people. Ladies and gentlemen, pro-life is pro-people,” he said, adding it is the “whole point of our position there”:
OH SENATE: @JDVance1 rips fellow candidate @MikeGibbonsOH at a Townhall yesterday for comments Gibbons made in 2018 where he rejected the pro-life label, in favor of calling himself “pro-people” & said that since he’s “not a woman,” he can’t make the choice on abortion for them. pic.twitter.com/mg6XWwl2xz
— Henry Rodgers (@henryrodgersdc) February 18, 2022
“If you’re not willing to stand up to the left on abortion, you can’t be trusted on anything else,” Vance later added on social media. “The pro-life position is the pro-people position and I’m proud to be 100% pro-life”:
If you’re not willing to stand up to the left on abortion, you can’t be trusted on anything else. The pro-life position is the pro-people position and I’m proud to be 100% pro-life. https://t.co/8FyiwZja8K
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) February 18, 2022
Indeed, Gibbons, a Cleveland investment banker, launched an unsuccessful Ohio Senate campaign in 2018 and at the time faced questions over his position on abortion. A 2017 article detailing his bid states that Gibbons described himself as an economic conservative but a “‘pro-people’ person who’s not dogmatic” on social issues.
At the time, the Senate hopeful reportedly told the AP that he does not support abortion, but he is “not a woman,” describing himself not as “pro-choice” but “pro-people.”
According to WTOL, Gibbons later attempted to clarify his position, claiming to oppose abortion and expressing support for defunding Planned Parenthood.
The Ohio primary will take place on May 3, 2022.