Rep. Ryan, first elected to Congress in 2003, is nakedly attempting to distance himself from Joe Biden in red-state Ohio, where Donald Trump won 53% to 45% over Biden in 2020. It is true Ryan has annoyed his own party at time – he challenged Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker – but Vance told the Democrat his voting record shows he supports his liberal party "100 percent" when the votes are cast.
“It's close to Halloween,” Vance said at one point, “and Tim Ryan has put on a costume where he pretends to be a reasonable moderate."
According to the political website FiveThirtyEight, Rep. Ryan has a 100% record – literally – of voting with his party. The congressman also has a 100% score with the influential AFL-CIO union and a 100% voting record with NARAL, the abortion lobbyist group, AFN has found.
At the conservative think tank Heritage Action, Rep. Ryan has a 0% score.
Numerous pre-election polls show a neck-and-neck race, with the Democrat or Republican leading by single digits, so the Oct. 10 debate proved to be an important moment for both candidates four weeks before Election Day.
Reacting to the debate, Tom Zawistowski of the We the People Convention says Vance did a good job of exposing Ryan’s liberal voting record on stage and in front of Ohio voters.
“The big difference is Ryan has a record and Vance doesn't,” Zawistowski tells AFN. “And so it's fertile ground, and Vance did a great job of just carpet bombing Ryan with his record.”
In one exchange, the two candidates sparred over the news that a 10-year-old Ohio girl, who was pregnant, went to Indiana to obtain an abortion. That story emerged earlier this summer as an example of Republican extremism on abortion, but the story quickly fizzled when it was learned the man who assaulted her was an illegal alien.
In the debate, when that story came up, Vance appeared ready with a comeback.
“You voted so many times against the border wall funding, so many times for amnesty, Tim," Vance told Ryan. "If you had done your job, she would have never been raped in the first place."
It is true Vance is an inexperienced candidate, which was a political gamble for Republicans, Zawistowki tells AFN, but he proved himself in the debate and will likely win on Election Day.